Christmas Tree Recycling in Puerto Rico

O Poor Christmas Tree!Day after day, post after post, all I see is indifference. Oblivious to the impact, oblivious to the consequence, oblivious of the future; we ignore our actions until, regrettably, it is too late. How many species must be lost forever? How much of our history will we permit to decay into dust? How much peril do we want to force upon our children?

Last week, we took down all of the Christmas decorations and stored everything away until next year. I dragged the Christmas Tree over to the side of the house. It had served us well, maybe turning out to be one of the prettiest in recent years. But it had been faithful, and I was determined to make sure that it's sacrifice would not be left unhonored, so on Saturday I strapped it to the top of the family minivan and hauled it over to WalMart. With the absence of Pueblo, WalMart has raised the standard and assumed the role of local tree recycling center in most cities here in Puerto Rico.

However, walking through our neighborhood this weekend, I've found that other families have also gone through their post-Christmas ritual and put Christmas away for another year. But instead of giving their Christmas Tree the final honor and recycling it, they have pitched them to the curb for the garbage men to haul away to our landfills. It saddens me that we can so quickly disassociate responsibly disposing of our trees from the entire sentiment of Christmas: Peace, Love, Joy, Alegria.

I found this ancient Chinese philosophy recently that seems appropriate:

If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be duty in the character.
If there is duty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation.
When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.
Righteousness, duty, harmony, order, peace. So for everyone who used a live Christmas Tree this last holiday season, let's do our duty and dispose of those trees responsibly. According to the Autoridad de Despdicios Sólidos (ADS) Puerto Rico will recycle some 30,000 trees this year. I wonder how many are sold throughout Puerto Rico? To facilitate tree recycling the ADS will be at the Acuaexpresso in Hato Rey next weekend, the 19th and 20th, and the last weekend of January, the 26th and 27th. If that is too far, as I mentioned, Wal-Mart Super Centers in Caguas, Manatí, Ponce, Santa Isabel, Cayey, and Carolina will also be participating as recycling centers. For more information visit the ADS website or call (787) 765-7575.

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