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weLOG #37 Christmas and Forests

The festive holiday season prompts us to unravel the complex relationship between Christmas trees and our flourishing forests, revealing a path to a potentially deepened understanding of the connection.

Accentuating the positive impact, sustainably managed Christmas tree farms emerge as vital contributors supporting local economies. These farms embrace responsible forestry practices, dedicated to planting new trees and ensuring a renewable resource. This cyclic approach not only provides us with the essence of the season but also establishes a harmonious link between festive celebrations and environmental responsibility.

Nevertheless, environmental challenges cast a discernible shadow. The sheer scale of Christmas tree production introduces disruptions to habitats, posing a threat to the delicate equilibrium of local ecosystems and biodiversity. The application of pesticides and fertilizers, intended to nurture vibrant trees, beckons us to contemplate potential repercussions on soil and water quality, underscoring the need for mindful agricultural practices.

The narrative expands further with the exploration of transportation's role in this ecological tale. The journey of trees from farm to festive home contributes to carbon emissions, heightening the environmental footprint of the holiday season. Choosing locally sourced trees subtly aligns our festive traditions with regional ecosystems, fostering a profound sense of interconnectedness.

Diversifying our approach to celebrations opens up new horizons. Potted trees, destined for replanting, not only embody a sustainable bridge between festivities and ecological longevity but also beckon us to reconsider the transient nature of our holiday choices. Delving into tree rental programs extends the life cycle beyond our homes, actively participating in a narrative of sustainability.

In the United States and the European Union combined, an astounding number of trees are purchased each holiday season. The USA alone sees approximately 25-30 million trees finding their way into homes, while the EU contributes another 50-60 million, highlighting the magnitude of our festive traditions.

As we wrap up the calendar year and transition into the post-holiday season, the call for reflection persists. How might our festive traditions align with the enduring rhythms of nature beyond the celebrations? In the spirit of the season, contemplating the threads of responsibility woven into our holiday choices not only fosters a connection between celebration and conservation but also encourages a thoughtful embrace of our role in preserving the delicate balance of our planet.


by Kenny


The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), which was established 20 years ago in response to environmental concerns related to the palm oil industry, is facing challenges in addressing climate change and ensuring benefits for small-scale farmers.

The RSPO has expanded its focus beyond deforestation, tightening standards and emphasizing the need to reduce emissions and tackle climate change. While the RSPO has made progress in curbing deforestation, critics argue that it struggles to remain relevant in addressing emerging issues and providing tangible benefits to smallholders.

Small-scale farmers still find it difficult to benefit from RSPO certification, and there is a need to simplify and make the certification more accessible to them. The RSPO's relevance could diminish, especially as the European Union and the United States are turning to regulations to address environmental concerns in the palm oil industry.



The COP28 climate deal was reached at a summit in Dubai, aiming to shift the global economy away from fossil fuels. While the COP28 deal is historic, concerns about unproven technologies, ambiguous language, and the potential for ongoing fossil fuel use persist among some delegations and environmental groups. Critics have highlighted some loopholes.

One key loophole is that the deal supports the accelerated use of carbon capture technology, allowing the continued use of oil, gas, and coal by capturing emissions at the source. However, critics argue that it's unproven at the required scale and may justify ongoing fossil fuel extraction. Another is that low-carbon hydrogen is being encouraged but it is currently expensive and not widely used.

Of course, there are tremendous benefits to this COP28 deal but could these loopholes significantly diminish its effectiveness?


  • All new cars in Canada must be zero emissions by 2035 Read here

  • The success palm oil story Read here

  • Drones help solve the forest carbon capture riddle in Thailand Read here

  • Artificial rain in Pakistan to fight pollution Read here

  • UK as a world leader in tackling climate change Read here

  • Climate change threatens Japan's cormorant fishing legacy Read here

There you have it, dear friends.

May this year bless you with beauty and connection.

Till next time.

Joanna Arai


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