Recycling trees

How cool is this? In the New Orleans area, we can recycle our Christmas trees to benefit the coastal wetlands.

This was the first year we had a “real” tree. We usually have a fabulous black-and-silver plastic one, prelit and ready to decorate in three steps!

Oh my goodness they were so little!

Which was an improvement over the Christmas Ladder.

Oh my goodness we had no furniture yet!

The Waldorf School of New Orleans sells trees and wreaths as a fundraiser, so we bought a tree, planning to donate it…but it smelled so good…we ended up bringing it home. (Yes, this is also how we ended up with two rescue dogs and a cat.)

I always feel a little funny about paying to cut down a living thing, letting it slowly die in my living room, and then throwing it onto the overflowing garbage heaps. (I try to keep my existential Grinchiness to myself.)

But coastal erosion is a big deal, and Louisiana loses land every year. This means fewer barriers between us and annual tropical storms and hurricanes. Land mass slows them down, so they aren’t as powerful when they reach human habitation. Less land + powerful hurricanes = more destruction. I’ve lived through Katrina and its aftermath. We need to do all we can.

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, since 1986, local governments have collected Christmas trees and used them to rebuild the coastal wetlands, bulking up the eroding coastline with “tree fences.” According to the article, these tree fences helped preserve marshland even during Hurricane Katrina.

One year, we visited the beach and saw a line of trees doing their post-Christmas work for the houses right on the Gulf. Pretty cool, right?

At least, I think that’s a tree fence and not just where locals tossed their trees.