In July of 2009, 3 high school freshmen formed GreenTree of Tulsa as an environmental group that would help reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Our plan is to plant trees in Tulsa and surrounding areas to sequester Co2. While working on this project we came to realize that not only the planet and humans are affected, animals are also greatly affected. Climate change and high Co2 levels are severely harming the polar bear's habitats. Due to their dangerous situation, polar bears have become a large part of our project. Since July of 2009, GreenTree of Tulsa(GTOT) has planted over 2,150 trees to help save the polar bears and our environment.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Real vs fake Christmas Trees and their envirnomental impact

A study was done by Ellipsos inc., a firm of experts in sustainable development on real vs fake trees. "Results show that a natural tree will generate 3.1 kg of greenhouse gases whereas the artificial tree will produce 8.1 kg per year."

This is a life cycle assessment, meaning it takes into account everything from materials used to produce a fake tree and to harvest a real tree. Many things are included in this data including transportation, fertilizing, and many other variables.

Since you use an artificial tree for many years you would think this would be the wise choice. But studies show you would have to keep an artificial tree over 20 years to actually help the environment. However, on average people only keep an artificial tree for 6 years.

Experts believe artificial trees have a worse impact than cutting down a real tree. Artificial trees are manufactured with metal and PVC, a non-biodegradable, petroleum derived plastic. Artificial trees are non-recyclable and non-biodegradable. They will sit in a landfill for centuries. In addition 85% are imported from China. The fuel used to transport it from China to the US puts carbon into the atmosphere.

Real trees are generally grown at sustainable tree farms. Farmers are constantly planting new trees as they harvest mature trees. If you buy a real tree be sure and "treecycle" instead of disposing it in the landfill where decomposition rates are slow due to lack of oxygen. Trees can be recycled into mulch, used for waterfront erosion prevention and shoreline stabilization, and fish and wildlife habitats.

The BEST option is to buy a live potted tree. After the holidays it can be planted in your yard or local park.

Although creating a tree by reusing bottles is more unique.