Charlie Brown, Environmentalist! How to Choose the Right Tree!

Primary tabs

Charlie Brown, Environmentalist! How to Choose the Right Tree!

Remember the scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas where he picks out the saddest little tree in the lot?
tweet me:
Charlie Brown, Environmentalist! How to Choose the Right Tree!

Multimedia from this Release

Friday, December 4, 2009 - 12:00pm


Remember the scene from A Charlie Brown Christmas where he picks out the saddest little tree in the lot? Everyone else had passed it over - had Charlie not picked it out it would have ended up in the bonfire or trash heap. Then with love and caring of his community of friends, it became a beautiful little symbol of peace on earth and renewal. Charlie Brown became an environmental hero, utilizing a tree that would have gone to waste and likely sparing a living one in the woods!

Well, OK, that’s probably a bit of hyperbole and oversell. The tree was a cut one and was doomed to dry up and die anyway. But the message in that film of spirit and substance over consumption and commercialism is an enduring one, both in the holiday season and all year round. This year, you can do Charlie Brown one better.

First of all, what’s the meaning you want to create for yourself and family and the message you want to send to others? More and more people are decorating a living tree in their own yard, or bringing a small live one indoors to decorate and then replant outside later. I had one friend who has built an evergreen forest in his yard, one tree at a time. The message is conservation, and the living trees in his yard carry the meaning of each holiday season for ward year after year. Don’t want to buy? You can even rent a live tree in Portland, Oregon from the Original Living Christmas Tree Company - they replant them for you in sensitive areas to conserve water and soils.

If you choose to have a cut tree indoors, a locally cut or one you cut yourself will be fresher and last longer. Don’t feel too bad about cutting a tree from a tree farm, any more than you’d regret cutting a stalk of broccoli - they are grown as a crop, and new ones are planted as the more mature ones are cut, continuing a natural cycle. Avoid the big operations that cut those weeks ahead of time, ship those long distances, wasting fossil fuels and spewing carbon into your holiday air. When you are done with the tree, place it outside and hang popcorn, suet, and other treats for birds and wildlife- some will also shelter in it. If this is not possible, or when you have to get it out of your yard, break it up or chip it, and use it as mulch in your walkways, flower beds or gardens. Apartment dwellers, see if a friend in the ‘burbs or country will take it and use it up. Don’t send it to the landfill. Or you can contact the National Christmas Tree Association about their recycling program - they take old trees and reuse them as habitat, mulch, rebuilding sand dunes on beaches and restoring the Louisiana coastline to prevent future Katrina catastrophes.

For city dwellers. A better choice might be an artificial one. But who wants petroleum based tree in the house, even if you will use it year after year? A better bet might be a Buro Tree, made from reclaimed wood, or make your own tree from recycled materials.

A Mountain Dew Tree from green and red Mountain Dew Cans - the site shows you how to make your own, and after drinking all the Dew, the sugar and caffeine buzz will give you the time and energy to do it.

Or if you’ve got a little one crawling about, how about this one made from baby food jars from

You can go to and make this one out of faux fur.

But whatever you do, keep the spirit and message of the holiday out front. If you need a reminder, you can go here to watch Charlie Brown’s original tree video. Ho ho ho! is dedicated to our users. We focus our attention on changing the world through recycling, waste-to-energy and conservation. We reward our users for their sustainable behaviors on our website, through our Greenopolis Tracking Stations and with curbside recycling programs.

Keywords: Christmas | Environmentalist | charlie brown | choose | lights | right | snow | tree | winter