Ten Alternatives to Cutting Down a Tree for Christmas

Written by Andrea Lee

Ten Alternatives to Cutting Down a Tree for Christmas

First, congratulations.

As someone who is considering an alternative torepparttar 'cut' Christmas Tree, I salute you for having a mind that is open to creative possibilities! Here are Ten Alternatives to Cut Christmas Trees, with some direct links to for each option whenever possible. I hope you enjoy creating a new tradition and welcome you torepparttar 132515 special group of folks choosing against a cut tree.

1. Instead of a cut Christmas tree, try a living tree, in a pot.

A living tree isn't thrown out after Christmas, and can continue to oxygenate your surroundings making your air quality better. If you choose to plant your living tree outdoors in your yard or garden after Christmas, you've now added value to your property and beautified your surroundings. More on how planting a live tree helpsrepparttar 132516 planet at this link: http://www.joytotheplanet.com/3/default.html Your local garden store or nursery is a good first try for locating a living Christmas tree in a pot. Or, try these links for more possibilities. http://www.davisfarms.com/products/index.cgi http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/gl_trees_shrubs/article/0,,HGTV_3643_1383646,00.html

2. Instead of a cut Christmas tree, try designating an existing outdoor tree as your Christmas tree.

Perhaps you have a lovely tall evergreen in your front or back yard. Choose one and give it some energy efficient lights set to a timer, and let your Christmas tree shine in to your living room. Your hardier ornaments and even popcorn garland also work nicely outdoors...and attract birds too.

3. Instead of a cut Christmas tree, try an inflatable Christmas tree.

Inflatable trees are reusable and a treat to put away after Christmas, since they collapse intorepparttar 132517 size of a small bag oncerepparttar 132518 air is released. Withrepparttar 132519 potential for many decades of use,repparttar 132520 inflatable tree can be used indoors and out, and inflates with a simple pump. No watering, and kids love these! Inflatable tree options are increasing, so check with your local Christmas store for details. Otherwise, these links may prove useful: http://www.brandsonsale.com/inchristre.html http://store.yahoo.com/gsdotcom/christre60.html

4. Instead of a cut Christmas tree, make your own tree.

Making your own Christmas tree can become a great tradition especially if you getrepparttar 132521 whole family in onrepparttar 132522 fun. What recycled material will you use this year? When you succeed in building an especially great tree, you can keep it and reuse.

The only rule here is: use your imagination. How about a beautiful clear tree made from used water bottles, or a wooden tree from scrap lumber? Empty egg cartons, old computer parts, any kind of "junk" in your blue recycling bin can be made into a cool and unique "tree." Talk about your true meaning of Christmas!

5. Instead of a cut Christmas tree, use a Christmas tree wall hanging.

Christmas tree wall hangings are a new, and awesome alternative to cut trees. Simple to hang and ultra slick to store, these are works of art that can even sometimes be lit. Have a look atrepparttar 132523 sample photo and clickrepparttar 132524 link to findrepparttar 132525 only source - so far - that I know of. If anyone else knows of another supplier, be sure to write me!


This is another super choice if your Christmas involves kids.

And oh yes, there's alwaysrepparttar 132526 option of making your own Christmas tree wall hanging, if you're handy with a needle. Try this link to a pattern and some advice...


The tree shown at http://www.joytotheplanet.com/images/kid.jpg is small and perfect for small spaces. A full size tree is also possible by alteringrepparttar 132527 dimensions ofrepparttar 132528 pattern.

6. Instead of a cut Christmas Tree, try a (non-plastic) artificial tree. Your typical artificial Christmas tree (found byrepparttar 132529 dozen in stores all over duringrepparttar 132530 Christmas season) is made from PVC or plastic based materials and are actually NOT a good alternative torepparttar 132531 cut Christmas tree. Unfortunately this is because of poor manufacturing processes of those trees that cause a great deal of damage torepparttar 132532 environment through pollution, chemicals and waste.

The Self-Appointed Altruists - Part II

Written by Sam Vaknin

NGO's in places like Sudan, Somalia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Albania, and Zimbabwe have becomerepparttar preferred venue for Western aid - both humanitarian and financial - development financing, and emergency relief. According torepparttar 132512 Red Cross, more money goes through NGO's than throughrepparttar 132513 World Bank. Their iron grip on food, medicine, and funds rendered them an alternative government - sometimes as venal and graft-stricken asrepparttar 132514 one they replace.

Local businessmen, politicians, academics, and even journalists form NGO's to plug intorepparttar 132515 avalanche of Western largesse. Inrepparttar 132516 process, they award themselves and their relatives with salaries, perks, and preferred access to Western goods and credits. NGO's have evolved into vast networks of patronage in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

NGO's chase disasters with a relish. More than 200 of them opened shop inrepparttar 132517 aftermath ofrepparttar 132518 Kosovo refugee crisis in 1999-2000. Another 50 supplanted them duringrepparttar 132519 civil unrest in Macedonia a year later. Floods, elections, earthquakes, wars - constituterepparttar 132520 cornucopia that feedrepparttar 132521 NGO's.

NGO's are proponents of Western values - women's lib, human rights, civil rights,repparttar 132522 protection of minorities, freedom, equality. Not everyone finds this liberal menu palatable. The arrival of NGO's often provokes social polarization and cultural clashes. Traditionalists in Bangladesh, nationalists in Macedonia, religious zealots in Israel, security forces everywhere, and almost all politicians find NGO's irritating and bothersome.

The British government ploughs well over $30 million a year into "Proshika", a Bangladeshi NGO. It started as a women's education outfit and ended up as a restive and aggressive women empowerment political lobby group with budgets to rival many ministries in this impoverished, Moslem and patriarchal country.

Other NGO's - fuelled by $300 million of annual foreign infusion - evolved from humble origins to become mighty coalitions of full-time activists. NGO's likerepparttar 132523 Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC) andrepparttar 132524 Association for Social Advancement mushroomed even as their agendas have been fully implemented and their goals exceeded. It now owns and operates 30,000 schools.

This mission creep is not unique to developing countries. As Parkinson discerned, organizations tend to self-perpetuate regardless of their proclaimed charter. Remember NATO? Human rights organizations, like Amnesty, are now attempting to incorporate in their ever-expanding remit "economic and social rights" - such asrepparttar 132525 rights to food, housing, fair wages, potable water, sanitation, and health provision. How insolvent countries are supposed to provide such munificence is conveniently overlooked.

"The Economist" reviewed a few ofrepparttar 132526 more egregious cases of NGO imperialism.

Human Rights Watch lately offered this tortured argument in favor of expandingrepparttar 132527 role of human rights NGO's: "The best way to prevent famine today is to securerepparttar 132528 right to free expression - so that misguided government policies can be brought to public attention and corrected before food shortages become acute." It blatantly ignoredrepparttar 132529 fact that respect for human and political rights does not fend off natural disasters and disease. The two countries withrepparttar 132530 highest incidence of AIDS are Africa's only two true democracies - Botswana and South Africa.

The Centre for Economic and Social Rights, an American outfit, "challenges economic injustice as a violation of international human rights law". Oxfam pledges to supportrepparttar 132531 "rights to a sustainable livelihood, andrepparttar 132532 rights and capacities to participate in societies and make positive changes to people's lives". In a poor attempt at emulation,repparttar 132533 WHO published an inanely titled document - "A Human Rights Approach to Tuberculosis".

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