How Green is Your Christmas Tree and How Angry is This Blogger?

Hey, Julian gets soap-boxy between events for a moment. It doesn't happen that often and you can float by this post if you like. First, the article:

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)—Picking a Christmas tree is typically a matter of taste. Is the shape right? Is it too tall? Too short? Now a handful of growers in the top Christmas tree producing state of Oregon want people to consider another factor—how “green'' a tree is. They've created a system to help consumers identify trees grown under certain environmental standards.

“Consumers like to do the right thing,'' said Joe Sharp, managing partner of Yule Tree Farms and co-founder of the Coalition of Environmentally Conscious Growers. “We are just helping with education.''

This is the first year the coalition's program will be seen in the market. More than 200,000 tags will hang on trees, indicating the trees were farmed by the coalition's standards.

To pass muster…continue reading here

Now, JC's OpEd of the month or so…

I ran across this a bit ago. Oregon/Portland is setting up a system of determining the environmental impact of your Christmas tree.

Even though this guy seems to be crying in his granola about it, Christmas trees will be grown and cut down. Because of this, environmentalists, loggers, and business need to come together to make it as least damaging to the environment as possible. Thank you Portland/Oregon for doing something in this area. (Now, quit delivering me phone books)

Although I have studied sustainability at one of the top sustainable business programs in the world (right here in the Portland–Go Vikes!), I can't tell you if this is “green-washing” without spending a lot of time researching. I can tell you that logging and environmentalists have been working together for a long time in this state.

Also, as we all know, Stumptown was born on logging. Many families here have been logging for generations. They don't want to log unsustainabily more than any of us want them to. They want that business to continue on and pass it down to their kids. That is why they work with environmentalists. So, even though I am highly serious about environmentalism and have written about sustainability here, I understand that building greener businesses of this type must happen.

Sorry, we use trees…the world wants them…we are going to cut them down. Let's do it in an educated way. Now, back to where we are going to party in Portland this weekend.

Oh yeah–fake trees are mostly plastic–plastic is made from petroleum and can't be mulched to make more trees.

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0 Responses to How Green is Your Christmas Tree and How Angry is This Blogger?

  1. Mark Rohlfs June 22, 2008 at 5:09 pm #

    I’m the owner of a small Christmas tree farm that recently joined this environmental coalition of big farms and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Having completed the audit by the Freer Group of Seattle WA, I can vouch that this is not “green washing”, this is for real. Their auditors inspected our farm’s soil conservation and watershed management, pesticide practices, record-keeping, and even worker training and hygiene. The audits are performed every three years with annual follow-ups. It is a costly and thorough process that represents a genuine effort on the part Christmas tree growers to environmentally certify their farming methods.
    Mark Rohlfs
    Santa & Sons Christmas Trees

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