Monthly Archives: November 2011
Benefits of Artificial Trees
They are re-used every year.
- They don’t produce as much waste as real trees.
- More economical because you do not need to buy a new tree every year.
- Artificial trees do not shed their needles.
- There is no sap to make them sticky.
- No watering needed.
- This tree does not dry out and become a fire hazard.
- It is made from fire-resistant poly vinyl.
Size options and equal all around
- These are all the same all the way around, no imperfections.
- Multiple sizes and styles.
Negatives of Artificial Trees
- Very difficult to recycle. It leaches plasticizers, stabilizers into landfills.
- Lack of scent
- Many known carcinogens including dioxin, ethylene dichloride, vinyl chloride, and heavy metals are produced when PVC is made. This pollutes neighborhoods near factory sites.
- The effects of these toxins can hinder; male reproduction, development,pregnancy loss, female infertility, asthma, and other respiratory problems.
- 85% of fake trees sold in North America Originate from China.
- Contain Lead and other additives linked to kidney, neurological and reproductive system damage in lab animals.
- Many fake trees have a warning label telling you to avoid inhaling or eating dust particles.
- Petroleum is used to make them (not sustainable)
Benefits of Real Trees
- They are absorbing Carbon Dioxide and emitting fresh oxygen.
- For every tree that is cut down they plant 1-3 seeds.
- They are farmed in US & Canada so less distance to travel.
- 100% biodegradable
- No toxic chemicals (if organically grown).
- Able to be recycled, it is composted.
Negatives of Real Trees
- Pesticides and fertilizers, if used contribute to pollution of watershed.
- Lots of holiday trees are discarded.
- It takes 7 years to grow a average 7-foot tree, so there are thousands of acres used in the production of them.
- Fire Hazard.
If you already have an artificial tree, don’t throw it away.
Real Christmas Trees have the least amount of environmental harm.
The best option is to buy a live tree. These are potted trees that will continue to live after the Christmas season. They can be planted in your yard, also there are Trees for Rent and The Living Christmas Company. These companies provides trees and then takes them back and allows them to grow taller for the next year. A live tree is the best option for a truly environmental Merry Christmas.
What kind of tree are you using for the holidays? In your opinion what do you think is the most environmental? Will the industry be able to move towards renting real trees?
“O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! Thy leaves are so unchanging; Not only green when summer’s here, but also when ’tis cold and drear…”
- Every year hundreds and hundreds of presents are given around the holidays.
- Christmas time has become a consumerist holiday, it’s all about the gifts.
- Billions of dollars are spent on Christmas.
Deck the Dumpsters with Tons of Waste
- With gifts being the focus of the holidays all of those presents need to be wrapped.
- Half of the paper America consumes is used to wrap and decorate products.
- Gift-wrap and shopping bags totals 4 million tons annually in the US.
- 15 trees per ton of wrapping paper is used, that’s 60 million trees for our gifts!
- Average American uses 2 pounds of wrapping paper a year.
- If you want to use wrapping paper use recycled paper (30% recycled paper saves 7.2 trees).
- Reuse wrapping paper, bags, ribbons and bows, year after year.
- Wrap with fabric.
- Use newspapers or paper bags as gift wrap. (You can decorate paper bags with stamps, paint or stickers to make them more festive).
- Use reusable cloth bags. (There are a wide range of them you can find online if you search for reusable gift bags).
- You could make your own cloth bag by buying fabric. What is great about these is that they can be reused every year. If you want to be fancy you could make the bags reversible so that you had two patterns on one bag.
- Wrap your gift in a reusable shopping bag.
- Instead of using ribbon that has plastic in it use spare yarn, or fabric.
- Use a small little gift to decorate (a doll, a ornament)
- Include Towels in your gift and use them to wrap it.
- Use a scarf as a decoration on your gift.
- Instead of buying decorations use natural things such as plants or flowers.
Following a vegetarian diet is one in which you do not eat meat (seafood, poultry, or red). There are different types of vegetarian diets. An ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products. Lacto-vegetarians diet includes dairy products but not eggs. Lacto-ovo vegetarians diet includes eggs and dairy products. Also a variation is a vegan diet in which no animal products (meat, eggs, dairy, honey) are eaten. Semi-vegetarian diets can include ingredients that are not vegetarian such as fish.
Many people do not know the other methods of achieving protein other than through meats. Some of these include dairy, eggs, soy, hempseed, beans, brown rice, hummus, whole wheats, quinoa, peanut butter, tofu, legumes, and many others. There are many sources of protein that are available.
- The United Nations has urged the world to move away from meat diets.
- Eating meat takes up many resources. All the animals have to eat in to get nutrients.
- It is estimated that between 13,000-100,000 liters of water is used to produce a kilo of beef. In contrast to wheat which only uses 1,000-2,000 litres.
- Many greenhouse emissions are produced with meat. Also organic farming has less of a greenhouse effect.
- Produces 9% of CO2 deriving from human-related activities
- Livestock produces 37% of all human-induced methane, and 65% of ammonia (which contributes to acid rain).
- Animals pollute our rivers, streams and oceans because of manure. (It has lead to the dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico)
- 70% of all agricultural land is for farmed animals, either their food or where they are kept. (This has increased deforestation and has endangered habitats)
- Has increased Endangered Species (such as many fish, and whales)
Health Benefits of Eating Vegetarian
Studies have found that vegetarians live longer. A plant-based diet can prevent diseases. The American Dietetic Association states that vegetarians have reduced risk of heart disease, obesity, colon cancer, adult-onset diabetes, osteoporosis, gout, gallstones, kidney stones, lung cancer, and breast cancer. A healthy vegetarian diet that is low in fat when combined with adequate exercise helps reduce blood pressure and can control or even eliminate non-insulin dependent diabetes.
Throughout my whole life, I have been vegetarian. Growing up my mother didn’t like meat, and since her family was not big meat eaters it was very easy for her to become vegetarian, my father’s family has been vegetarian, so for me it was the obvious choice. My parents never told me I could not have meat, but I never developed an appetite for it, and do not find it appealing. Whenever I tell people I am vegetarian they always are astonished and exclaim “How can you do it?” But for me it comes naturally, and it is very easy. While I realize this may not be the case with everyone, just cutting meat out of as many meals as possible is beneficial.
Do you think you could become vegetarian? If not could you eat Vegetarian 2-4 days a week?
“Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”