This year marked the 5th year All Saints’ has hosted the Energy Saving Tree program on our campus as part of our Creation Care ministry. We do that work because trees are one of the best ways to sequester the excess carbon in our atmosphere. A Christmas tree represents approximately six to ten years of carbon sequestration. Therefore, it is best to not burn Christmas trees.
Each year Americans cut more than 30 million trees for Christmas decorations. North Carolina (28%) ranks a close second to Oregon (30%) in tree production. After Christmas, check your town’s yard waste policy. The City of Concord will pick up Christmas trees, and take them to a local farm that mulches them. That mulch will be for sale in local businesses this spring. Alternatively, if you have the space, you can add your Christmas tree to your own brush pile of fallen branches. There it will shelter birds and other creatures in bad weather and decompose over time. Though mulch does release carbon back into the atmosphere, it does so slowly. Microorganisms, fungi, etc, break down the mulch and turn it into bioavailable nutrients that help sustain plant growth. So, some of it is being metabolized, and some is “building” soil by adding organic material.
I invite you to add creation care to your 2024 resolutions so that each of us may be a bit kinder and gentler to “this fragile earth, our island home.” Remember, there is no “Plan(net) B.”
– Mark Robinson