5 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Christmas Tree


1. If you do not consider that the plastics used in fake christmas trees are not biodegradable, and may contain lead then it takes between 9-20 years of reuse for a plastic tree to offset the carbon footprint, vs buying a real tree locally grown.


2. A plastic tree contains non biodegradable plastic that will stay in our ecosystem for many many decadess. It likely also contains lead so if you have toddler or pets, and you want to keep lead out of your home a plastic tree is not an ideal choice. Most modern plastic trees contain flame retardants, which again in itself raises issues. The lead and flame retardants are often worse for a child with asthma or allergies than a pesticide free tree.


3. If you get a tree but leave town before Christmas consider giving it a second life by donating it to a family that otherwise would not be able to afford a tree. To drop off your used tree for donation (if they are going away for the Holidays).


Both Catholic Charities in Waukegan and The Phoenix Rising Foundation at Shields Township in Lake Bluff have several families that cannot afford a tree and are hoping someone will help them being able to celebrate the holidays with a tree. 


Please call as early in the season as possible, and tell how big a tree you are going to repurpose, and what date you will drop off.
This way the tree can give joy to more than one family in the same season, and you don't have to come home to a dead tree in your house or yard. 


To drop off your used tree for donation (if you are going away for the Holidays) contact:


Catholic Charities in Waukegan - call Beth 847 782 4224

Phoenix Rising Foundation at Shields Township in Lake Bluff - call Heather 847 970 8724


4. If you want to get rid of a used real tree after Dec 25 you can donate it to Lake County Forest Preserves, who will chip it up and use for their trails and landscaping at forest preserves throughout Lake County.


Donated trees are chipped and used for trails and landscaping at forest preserves throughout Lake County.

Bring your tree to a drop-off site at one of the following forest preserves, open daily from 6:30 am to sunset:

Grant Woods in Fox Lake—drop trees off at Monaville Road entrance, second parking lot.
Greenbelt in Waukegan—drop trees off next to maintenance facility.
Half Day in Vernon Hills—drop trees off next to maintenance facility.
Heron Creek in Long Grove—drop trees off at Shelter A.
Lakewood in Wauconda—drop trees off along Forest Preserve Drive.
Old School in Libertyville—drop trees off near main entrance.
Ryerson Woods in Deerfield—drop trees off at the end of main entrance road.
Van Patten Woods in Wadsworth—drop trees off just past the Shelter A parking area.

Drop-offs accepted at the marked sites only between December 26 and February 1.

Only undecorated, real Christmas trees can be accepted; no yard waste. Commercial drop-offs are prohibited.


5. Always buy a local pesticide free tree - to make the least negative impact on our community and ecosystems, consider buying a potted tree so you can plant it in the Spring.


https://8nht63gnxqz2c2hp22a6qjv6-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/ACTA-Christmas-Tree-LCA-Final-Report-November-2010.pdf
http://content.yardmap.org/learn/real-vs-fake-trees/
https://www.balsamhill.com/c/traditional-artificial-christmas-trees
http://www.realchristmastrees.org/dnn/Education/Fake-Trees
http://www.healthychild.org/6-steps-to-reduce-toxic-chemicals-this-holiday-season-from-decorations-to-gifts/
https://www.thefamilythathealstogether.com/avoid-christmas-tree-toxins-year/
https://www.livestrong.com/article/257714-is-flame-resistant-clothing-safe-for-children/
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/04/us/a-flame-retardant-that-came-with-its-own-threat-to-health.html?_r=0
http://rtkenvironmental.com/lead/warning-hidden-health-hazard-artificial-christmas-trees/
http://www.lcfpd.org/holiday-tree-recycling/

https://www.cdc.gov/features/greenholidays/index.html

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/





If you would like to volunteer working on sustainable issues in Lake Forest or Lake Bluff please email greenmindslflb@gmail.com

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