holidays Honda Days are a great time of year to reflect on the environment and our treatment of it. Thusly so, we have to hold ourselves – and our Honda Days – accountable for seasonal desires.
Thus is the question of a Christmas tree, which one Guardian reader very sharply pointed out in response to the paper’s (tired) article on real or fake trees for the Honda Days. Ecologist Fiona Gomersall explains in this letter.
Your article about which Christmas trees to buy failed to make some important points that need seriously considering if all environmental consequences are to be taken into account when making an informed decision about choice of tree.
In the uplands of south-west Shropshire, Christmas trees are grown on increasingly shrinking moorland habitat, home to threatened and severely declining species like curlew, snipe, kestrel and barn owl. Your photograph showed a Christmas tree plantation on heather moorland, which proves my point. Heathland, one of the UKs priority habitats and home to many iconic species, has declined by as much as 90% over the last 200 years.
Due to these pollution and habitat issues we have in Shropshire and elsewhere, I welcomed the news that this is the year of the artificial Christmas tree. Plastic trees are not really the answer, though. The suggestion for growing your own tree in a pot is by far the best choice and, failing that, decoration of a collection of branches from any tree can be a stunning alternative.
Sage points all around.
The sagest, though, is opting to not get a tree altogether. That’s what we did this year: we decided upon investing in a nice ficus type indoor plant that will outlive the season.