Mayor Chris Beutler recently announced a new city community donation program – 2 For Trees. 2 For Trees allows Lincoln residents to voluntarily add $2 to their water bill. The $2 donation will be used to support the planting and maintenance of trees along city streets and trails and in parks and golf courses.
Archive for the ‘Trees’ Category
Dr. Theodor Seuss Geisel was born 108 years ago today. Writing under the pen names Dr. Seuss and Theo LeSieg, he gave us The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Horton Hears a Who!, and one of my daughters’ favorites How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In fact, Dr. Seuss wrote 10 of the top 100 books for children as compiled by the National Education Association. Number 14 on that list is The Lorax.
A simple google search for “real or fake tree” has more than 80,000,000 results. There’s really nothing that I can or should add to the “debate.” For the technical analysis, you should read about the detailed life cycle assessmentperformed by Ellipsos, a sustainability consulting firm in Montreal, Canada. Their findings have been summarized as follows:
The natural tree is a better option than the artificial tree, in particular with respect to impacts on climate change and resource depletion. The natural tree, however, is not a perfect solution as it results in important impacts on ecosystem quality. Clients who prefer using the artificial tree can reduce their impacts on all categories by increasing the life span of their tree, ideally over 20 years.
Based on this report, someone can justify an artificial tree from an environmental standpoint only if they use the tree for more than 20 years. The problem with this rationale is that it ignores reality. First, the vast majority of artificial trees are of such poor quality that they would never last 20 years. And, second, we (as consumers) rarely use anything for 20 years. We lose a limb, become annoyed with the fading color, or (more likely) give in to our desire for change. Reality is why the average life span of an artificial tree is only 6 years.