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How many Christmas Trees are killed globally each year- hundreds of millions?

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posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 03:31 PM
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It just dawned on me that in just another months I will be walking, driving past blocks upon blocks with dying trees lying in front of most every building in America, that were purchased just days to weeks ago.

Why? Why is it socially acceptable for the majority of American families to purchase a tree to showcase in their homes a few days to weeks in their home, then drag them out to the curbside literally yesterdays trash- for these days, 'recyling'?

Why is it such a booming Christmas industry, to clear acres upon acres of land, just to plant trees that will all be killed every 10 years? When I lived in Boston area, I noticed alot of people driving out in the wilderness and cutting down trees. I never once saw consumers planting trees, unless it was the state road service planting for erosion control. Most of the homes around here (Long Beach) actually have 100% concrete around them, and no place to grow anymore, just like 3 houses on each single family lot.

I can see how this is somewhat sustainable, since more and more trees are grown in mostly deforested areas, to replace the 5-10 year olds that are killed each year. I guess, to fathom how many trees are being killed worldwide, and having witnessed how Xmas trees come about each year for many Lowellians and Bostonians, wonder how globally widespread Christmas tree 'harvesting' for sacrifice from the wild, is.

From what' I've read on Wiki, Americans consume about 40million trees each year, Canada 8 million, UK 50 million, and I didnt find any global table. It would be interesting to know the figure for the whole of Mexico, the Caribbean,and the rest of central & south America, not to mention the rest of europe as well.

Are you fellow ATSers okay with this annual sacrifice? To me its just another consumerist fad, which eventual environmental consequences.

I myself have used the same Norfolk Pine as a christmas tree for the past dozen years, and have gifted several, but so far not one recipient expressed any interest in an economical choice for the 'Christmas' tree tradition. They seem to just like the high of buying a new one every year, watching it wilt, complaining about all the needles dropping, then toss it out on the curb with noticeable anger.




posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 03:33 PM
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reply to post by gardener
 


Just like Thanksgiving in America is an excuse to slaughter turkeys, Christmas is an excuse to kill trees at a dizzying pace. Give me Festivus anytime, the deaths are held to a minimum.



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 03:36 PM
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reply to post by gardener


It just dawned on me that in just another months I will be walking, driving past blocks upon blocks with dying trees lying in front of most every building in America, that were purchased just days to weeks ago.

Why? Why is it socially acceptable for the majority of American families to purchase a tree to showcase in their homes a few days to weeks in their home, then drag them out to the curbside literally yesterdays trash- for these days, 'recyling'?

Why is it such a booming Christmas industry, to clear acres upon acres of land, just to plant trees that will all be killed every 10 years?

 


Because tree farms are a renewable resource. They are replanted, and during their lifetime they provide oxygen and other things to the world, and in their death they will become non-hazardous waste.

Some tree farms do not even plant directly into soil, but into soil bags. In other words, they have limited [negative] impact on the environment. (For the most part)

PROS


The NCTA stated that every acre of Christmas trees in production produced the daily oxygen requirement for 18 people; with 500,000 acres (200,000 ha) in production in the U.S. alone, that amounts to oxygen for 9 million people per day.[47] The NCTA also stated that the farms help to stabilize the soil, protect water supplies and provide wildlife habitat.[47] In addition, the industry points to the reduction of carbon dioxide through Christmas tree farming.[48] An independent Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study, conducted by a firm of experts in sustainable development, states that a natural tree will generate 3.1 kg of greenhouse gases whereas the artificial tree will produce 8.1 kg per year.[49]
*

CONS


A 1998 report from the Michigan State University Agricultural Experiment Station predicted increasing environmental concerns about tree production and use as one possible reason people may favor artificial trees in the future. The report cited the use of fertilizers and pesticides and increasing concerns regarding tree disposal as the chief elements in its prediction.[50] Critics of tree farming have raised the concerns highlighted in the 1998 report, as well as other issues, such as the effect that large-scale tree farming operations have on biodiversity.[48] Pesticide use on Christmas tree farms is one of the main concerns of environmentalists;[48][51] fir trees are vulnerable to a wide array of pests and diseases which requires the use of pesticides and other chemicals including the widely used herbicide glyphosate.[48] Glyphosate is commonly used in Christmas tree production in the U.S. state of North Carolina, where studies have found traces of agricultural chemicals in homes and tree industry workers' urine samples.[48] The average Christmas tree receives roughly a half of an ounce (14 g) of pesticide over its lifetime.[51]

edit on 28-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 03:48 PM
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boncho

Because tree farms are a renewable resource. They are replanted, and during their lifetime they provide oxygen and other things to the world, and in their death they will become non-hazardous waste.

Some tree farms do not even plant directly into soil, but into soil bags. In other words, they have limited [negative] impact on the environment. (For the most part)


Thanks for the PROs and CONs.

I've already questioned the deforested land being used to grow not trees, but Christmas trees. That makes alot of difference, because all that growing, feeding, pesticiding goes into just weeks of enjoyment, then more fuels are used just to collect and mulchify them.

Like I said, every year people are buying a tree to kill but they are not planting trees to make up for vastly deforested lands needed for their highly consumptive, pollutive(?) lifestyles, and needing Christmas trees just adds to the total amount of land deforested to satisfy each consumer with their grown footprint.

IF it's DISPOSABLE.. the masses love it!
edit on 28-11-2013 by gardener because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 03:59 PM
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reply to post by gardener


I've already questioned the deforested land being used to grow not trees, but Christmas trees. That makes alot of difference, because all that growing, feeding, pesticiding goes into just weeks of enjoyment, then more fuels are used just to collect and mulchify them.


 


14 grams of pesticide per tree is not that much but I still question the stat because plenty of places need very little. There are many conifer forests that are quite healthy without any. I imagine location has a role to play in pesticide usage.

******I have to change my first statement. Pesticide allowable rates for christmas trees is much higher than other crops. So this is the most valid argument against.*******

****Revise again***** Ok, the 14 gram is over the lifetime of the tree. So it is not that much, sort of. I scoured over about a dozen pdf's in Ag, I'm not posting them all (sorry I don't feel this is worth that much time), but I loosely calculated around 50g of pesticide per bushel of corn. Corn is an annual crop, so 5 years and that is 250 grams per bushel. 10 and it's nearly a kilo.

(For comparison sakes).

In any case, pesticides are obviously a valid argument. But one could also argue that there are many frivolous things we spend money on, which create much more waste, use valuable resources, and do not have beneficial effects like producing oxygen for a few million people. *****



Collecting and "mulchifying" them is going to be done in one form or the other because mulch is a useful product.




Like I said, every year people are buying a tree to kill but they are not planting trees to make up for vastly deforested lands needed for their highly consumptive


A tree gets replanted for every one that ends up as a xmas tree (give or take).




and needing Christmas trees just adds to the total amount of land deforested to satisfy each consumer with their grown footprint.


Most are grown on tree farms. So… what type of trees are you expecting there to be there instead? Also, certain farms cannot grow anything but coniferous trees. So it's not like the majority of them are taking away from anything else.

The fact that the trees are just a few years old and get replanted indicate how easily it is to replace them. Heck, we planted a few in the back yard over the years and cut them down simply because they got too big. Putting newer young ones in as a replacement.



Why don't you go pick on fracking and wasteful energy usage?
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IF it's DISPOSABLE.. the masses love it!



Christmas trees gained popularity long before we lived in a disposable (1890s). If anything, they encourage a family unit. Once again I would bring up something like iPods, video games, TV, etc. While there is cultural value to all these things, you could just as easily argue they are a complete waste of energy and create a ton of waste (plastics, rare earth metals, etc.)

If once a year the christmas tree encourages people to sit around as a family unit, I think it's probably a + to society as a whole.

This year, I've incorporated 3 people into my christmas celebrations, bought a tree purely for their benefit, and since they haven't really experienced a christmas, they get to, and I get to enjoy their company and the celebration (spirit of christmas).

While it's great for consumerism, I tend to buy things that are needed for whoever I buy for, including gift receipts so they can exchange for something they need. Maybe this is one tradition I'm not so jaded about.
edit on 28-11-2013 by boncho because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 04:00 PM
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I use an artificial one, so I'm not wasting trees myself. Its a lot cheaper than buying one each year.

Where I live most of the trees sold, come from people who own tree farms. Grown specifically for Christmas. They don't take that long to grow. The forest industry is our main resource, so there's an abundance of them.

I would think people living in regions where they don't grow naturally would use artificial.

There's usually some unwritten rule for each one taken down , one is replanted.

I think there's far most waste on paper products that strip the land bare of trees. Xmas wrapping paper for example. What a waste that is! I recycle that as well if it looks good enough to reuse.



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 04:39 PM
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Another way to look at it is the Christmas tree farm provides income for those who have large properties and a means to pay their land taxes that they might not have had. They could raise cattle to slaughter I suppose or chickens.



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 05:06 PM
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And the artificial one is made from plastic, which in essence is Dinosaurs (or at least what remained of them).

To be honest, while not being a friend of "mindless" killing of trees, Xmas trees are normally grown for exactly THAT purpose. Without Xmas, many of those would not even EXIST.

Rather than focusing on the specifically "bred" XMas trees, I think there are more pressing things happening, for instance destruction of the rain forest. And this has a a much bigger impact on the ecosystem than growing and then "killing" Xmas trees.

Also..if I look at say, middle Europe....and the fact that we use wood for all purposes for AEONS already, being it for firing stoves or to make boats, furniture etc...I do NOT see a shortage of trees whatsoever. European woods are as dense as always, there is no indication that using wood (or Xmas trees etc.) in any way harms the tree populations. Real trouble comes from other things, like pollution etc. which IN FACT destroys entire forests.



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 05:48 PM
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LOL

Just remember that the next time you go to the washroom and use some of that fine paper
and were it came from and go outside and go get a few leaf

edit on 28-11-2013 by Trillium because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 06:17 PM
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reply to post by gardener
 


Are you insane? Whining about the use of 5 year old trees that are farmed for this purpose when young women abort their human babies? Get your priorities straight- unless your priorities are to pick on the productive members of this society who decorate once a year with trees that end up as mulch or firewood. What an incredible display of ignorance.



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 08:46 PM
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Isn't ironic? No, not that "we" are being like "Black Friday" and creeping into Thursday (EVERY day is a day to be 'thankful', each month has some holiday connected to $$$...)

But that "we" cut down "living things" (trees) from a living thing (Mother Earth) to cram gifts in celebration of a guy's birth, who wasn't born then, who would be embarrassed for the attention, who doesn't want the "gifts".. This after "we" honked at, flipped off and cut off the other Ones to buy crap we don't "need". To make ourSelf feel better we inundate farcebook™ w/wishes for "family time" when in reality noBody can stand to be in the same room w/the other One.

Now 'we' are either equating ourSelf to "giver" (Wise Man) or "receiver" (Jesus). It is just fake bologna. It stinks. I haven't had a tree in 4 years and I do My "retail therapy" about the 27th or 28th



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 09:01 PM
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LewisStulePhD


Ok replies are posting not as I'm sending them. Anyone else experiencing this?

Your make a good point - how many people celebrate x-mas who don't even know the reason for it. I'm quite sure there are many thousands. Onto tree's - wish I could just plant one in my living room (would love a big log home with one right through the middle on a big center porch area - if I could keep it alive) but since can't we get to go cut them down ourselves - helps the forest service to thin things out. A permit is required that cost like 5.00. They provide info on how it can help if people do it right. I've thought of how sad it is as the years have passed as well but if it helps prevent wildfires to some extent I don't mind putting one to use. If it weren't for that I would buy a fake one.
edit on 28-11-2013 by Dianec because: Scrambled post once sent.



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 10:38 PM
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Tree farms grow trees for sale as xmass trees and this provides income for families.

They're not harvested normally from the woods although most in the olden days did so.

Those trained as tree spacers are good at picking out trees by the way, however, we do the artificial ones, not because we don't wish to support tree farmers, but because they're harvested too early and the needles are falling off by christmas.

Trees are put here to manage well, ie they are a part of nature and infastructure, create climate, not just weather, but actually change the stability of regions and the rain fall. They give us O2. And they're put here for building material for the advancement of the human race, by the Higher Ups, and earth is a holographic school.



posted on Nov, 28 2013 @ 11:19 PM
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reply to post by Aleister
 


I could swear Frank said they ate a meal of some sort. I assumed Turkey or Ham or something similar to that after the feats of strength and airing of grievances...



posted on Nov, 29 2013 @ 12:24 AM
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My family has always bought Christmas trees which were "alive" in pots or bags and after Christmas we either planted them in our garden or gardens of family and friends, we have ended up donating many trees to schools and orphanages! This to me is a win win situation!
edit on 29/11/13 by wiser3 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 29 2013 @ 12:27 AM
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They're not fully grown though and they're mostly grown on tree farms. Grown again in a few years on those same farms.



posted on Nov, 29 2013 @ 04:17 AM
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Don't worry about trees too much. Just think of Mothersday when you buy a fresh set of recently cut off genitals of plants (because they smell so good and look so pretty) and give them to your mom.



posted on Nov, 29 2013 @ 04:41 AM
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reply to post by gardener
 

I remember as a kid,my father would bring home a real tree for Xmas,but I always just put out a small plastic one,for the kids to decorate,and it gets re-used year after year.If it was'nt that we were parents,we would'nt even bother with a tree,even a plastic one.What I was thinking about last time we barbequed-is how many trees die for paper plates,especially in a country like South Africa,where bbq is a way of life,and a lot of people bbq every single weekend,sometimes on weekdays too-all that adds up to valleys of decimated trees.There should be a program whereby folks can have their trees collected,or take them to central drop-off points,so companies that produce paper products+furniture can actually use these discarded trees-still a load of dead trees,sady,but not a complete waste,if somesuch initiative can get off the ground? I always try and look for a solution to a problem,so my mind went to:"Waste not,save some trees that are still alive by using discarded already dead ones"?
All in all it won't stop trees being cut globally for industry,but wastage of any kind makes me angry,and just discarding all these trees+leaving them to rot is a massive nonsensical waste.In fact,nbetter to just make it illegal to use "live" Xmas trees-there's nothing wrong with the plastic ones+lets face it-most people do not give one hoot for the tree,it could be a willow or a pink plastic shrub-they are interested in the presents UNDER the tree.Or under whatever contraption one may wish to pass off as an Xmas tree,you know?



posted on Nov, 29 2013 @ 08:19 AM
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reply to post by Dianec
 


YES, 3/4 of My last posts have been cut off. I got a PM from "JustMike" who typed that it was a "coding issue" I'm on a MacBookPro. If after You post, it reads "You timed out" then refresh and post again and it will enter in it's entirety.

The above post still had the "meat" of My lil soliloquy, now I'm feeling "wanting"... I'm going fishin'

namaste



posted on Nov, 29 2013 @ 08:34 AM
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apydomis
reply to post by gardener
 


Are you insane? Whining about the use of 5 year old trees that are farmed for this purpose when young women abort their human babies? Get your priorities straight- unless your priorities are to pick on the productive members of this society who decorate once a year with trees that end up as mulch or firewood. What an incredible display of ignorance.

I think ignorance is dismissing someone's thread because they don't share your particular source of outrage.



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