Green Choices for Books and Trees
Host: Lester Graham
Show date: 12/19/2008
Whether you've already bought your Christmas tree or you're scrambling to get one in time... there are quite a lot of choices for that tree. We'll look at real vs. organic vs. artificial trees. And... some publishers are promoting their "green" children's books... and it's not just recycled paper. Charity Nebbe reports on the trend and whether preachy environmental messages work on kids.
This is The Environment Report. I’m Lester Graham.
If you celebrate Christmas, you have a lot of choices for your tree. Real,
real organic, fake. Rebecca Williams has been doing some tree shopping.
So what’s the best environmental choice?
RW: Well, like most of our environmental dilemmas there’s not an easy
answer. Your average real tree gets sprayed with pesticides and herbicides
and some of those chemicals have been found in groundwater near tree farms.
But if you go the fake tree route... fake trees are usually shipped all the way
from China... and they’re made of PVC plastic.
LG: That’s a pretty bad plastic – producing it releases dioxins which are carcinogens.
RW: Right – and the fake trees can also have lead in them.
I talked with Lori Bongiorno. She’s the author of the book “Green, Greener, Greenest.”
She’s researched all these tree options. She says for her, real is better than artificial.
“Try to buy a live tree from a farm as close to home as possible so you cut down on
emissions from transportation. If you can find a tree that’s both local and organic that’s
She says you can also buy a living, potted tree. Some cities will plant them after Christmas.
Or you can decorate a house plant but that might look a little scruffy.
LG: something here about Charlie brown trees?
This is The Environment Report…
Book publishers have always had a close relationship with trees,
mostly dead ones. Now many publishers are trying to make nice with
the planet by introducing green books on environmental themes and often on recycled paper. Charity Nebbe finds this trend has reached the children's section of your local bookstore.
That’s The Environment Report. I’m Lester Graham.