Oh, Christmas Tree!
When considering a Christmas tree
this season, CBF urges you to help the
environment and local economy by
buying a real tree and recycling it after
“Real Christmas trees are a renewable
resource that clean our air and water.
After the holidays they should be
planted, composted, or recycled into
mulch,” said CBF Virginia Watershed
Restoration Scientist Matt Kowalski.
“Buying a real Christmas tree is also
a great way to support local growers
For some people, having a real
Christmas tree is not a viable choice.
However, an artificial petroleum-based tree is used on average for just
six to nine years before it takes up
permanent space in the local landfill,
according to the National Christmas
Tree Association. Because real trees
are biodegradable, they can be recycled
rather than disposed of in a landfill.
Many communities have recycling
programs for trees, with some even
offering curbside pickups. In most
cases the recycled trees are shredded
into mulch for use in landscaping,
which eventually breaks down
into soil. At home, people can also
compost trees or use them as food
and habitat for wildlife. You can visit
realchristmastrees.org for a tree
locator to find a farm close to you.
Ask Dr. Beth McGee
How does road salt affect the Chesapeake Bay and
its rivers and streams? For public safety reasons, it is
necessary to treat our roads and sidewalks. But we should
be cognizant that salt, technically sodium chloride, can
be toxic to critters than inhabit our rivers and streams.
And studies have indicated elevated levels of chloride in some of our region’s
streams due to salting of roadways. Critters that live in the Bay itself, where
the water is salty, are not as susceptible to the increased salinity. Using less
salt or other more environmentally friendly materials, such as sand, can
reduce these impacts while still ensuring our safety. If we ignore the harm of
overusing salt, the ecological effects can strike long after the snow has melted.
This year’s CBF Christmas by the Bay series
ornament features the Black-Eyed Susan. To
purchase this year’s collectible ornament and
recieve your 10% discount, go to cbf.org/store and
enter “Member” at checkout.