First item on "The Plan" is the tree. Not because it is the centerpiece of the holidays (although it is) but because it is the easiest decision to make. And I have chosen:
A giant, fake, plastic, imported tree covered with tiny, energy-sucking lightbulbs!
Tada! Wasn't that easy and oh so eco-friendly?
It's not? Are you sure?
I'm pretty sure this is the most eco-friendly choice for me and here's why: I already own the damn thing and it's sitting up in my attic.
One of the easiest ways for me to check the green-ness of any of my ideas is to start with the question: "will this cost me anything?". If the answer is "Yes", I can be 95% assured that it has some sort of NEW impact on the environment. However, if it is something I already own, then the damage has already been done and the best I can do is take good care of it and use it well. Which is what I'm going to do with my seven foot fake plastic tree.
Will my friends that know about my green conversion give me a ration of shit for having a petro-based, lead paint covered tree made by starving 5 year olds in a foreign country? You betcha! They wouldn't be my friends if they didn't. But you know, throwing out a perfectly good fake tree in lieu of a potted evergreen would simply be giving the appearance of being eco-friendly. And that is not what this is about.
I will make one improvement over last year, though. I will take my auto timer (which I already own!) and plug the tree into it so that it is only lit from 6pm - 9pm each night.
No new environmental impact, save the minimal energy used for the lights.
Difficulty Level: 1 out of 5
Very simple concept, however pulling the damn thing down out of the attic and scaring all the spiders out of the branches is always a yuletide bitch.