Friday, April 2, 2010

Fun Fact Friday - It's not easy being green

I've never shied away from planting trees.  In third grade, we were sent home with elm seeds, a new variety reportedly resistant to Dutch Elm disease.  That little seed grew to a massive 30 feet or more by the time I saw it last, probably ten years ago.  

A few years ago, I started taking an interest in bonsai, the Japanese art of miniature trees.  I haven't found the appropriate outlet for this interest, never found the group here in Tampa.  Killed my first tree, but that doesn't mean I won't try again once we move next.  We planted a Japanese maple at the corner of our home in Wisconsin, and it's still strangely exciting to drive by and see how it's doing.

I saw a headstone in North Carolina a while back that had a beautiful Japanese maple growing from it, maintained lovingly by someone to keep it in perfect scale with the planter built into the stone.  I would love such a thing, if that isn't too morbid.

We were cleaning out the flower beds and continuing our mulching efforts last weekend, and I noticed a foot-high oak sapling, just taking root perfectly in the corner of the yard.  Away from mowers, perfectly spaced where it could be a feature, I can only hope the next owners decide, as I did, to leave it be. 

The next step, of course, is arborsculpture.  Rather than emphasizing the natural form, trees are made to do unthinkable contortive feats, to great effect.  I've seen some works of this in the past, gazebos made entirely of living things, and I love whimsy in the garden.  These are some cool pieces, and some things I hope to mimic the next time we have a permanent garden of our own.

However, planting trees has become more politicized in my lifetime.  Growing up exploring the forests of Wisconsin, with all the pines in straight rows where the paper companies reseeded fifty years earlier, I never thought of reforestation as 'politically correct', I just took it as something that one does.  More recently, the term 'carbon footprint' has been thrown around, and I'm being encouraged to buy 'carbon credits' any time I book travel or buy electronics (and no, I don't actually buy electronics, but bear with me).  

I never thought that suddenly my blog, the most ethereal of non-tangible things, could have a carbon footprint.  Adrienzgirl, over at Think Tank Momma, posted Wednesday that a blog receiving 15,000 hits a month produces eight pounds of carbon dioxide in that time.  (Would that I could get 15,000 hits a month, better start posting more pictures of Danica McKellar and Bo Derek, since those get the most hits of anything I've done.)

By posting this button in the sidebar, and telling the nifty people over at Machs Grun (which I assume is German for 'more green', but what do I know) about this post, they will plant a tree on behalf of your blog.
How simple is that?  And who doesn't like wood trees? 


Tara said...

Japanese maples are my favorite. I'm hoping once we move, we can plant one.

Sarah J. Bradley said...

Wanting a tree planted in your headstone isn't morbid, it's beautiful! Personally, I take every opportunity to remind my kids that I want to be creamated and tossed from Raging Bull (Or any other steel roller coaster) AND at the Bristol Ren Faire.

That Kind of Girl said...

Dude, it never occurred to me that there was an ecological cost to blogging! Thanks for posting this!

Bev said...

What a nice post, Elliott!

15,000 hits/month? Reminds me of Lindsay Lohan.


Also, am I going blinder or is your font getting tinier? Please... have a heart - think of your myopic friend Bev!

Elliott said...

Tara, I found there are varieties that will grow in Florida (if you're staying in Florida - we're not). I hope to have an assortment the next time we have a yard of our own.

Sarah, I'll see if I can find the pictures, they're really something.

TKOG, you're welcome. I thought it was a neat idea.

Bev, something happened to the formatting, I don't know if it's because I changed editors or what, but I think the font went a size smaller recently. I just updated it with the next size up, pretend I'm your eye doctor...better like this?

KLo said...

I don't think it's morbid at all ... if you think about it, it makes perfect sense in a way (*as we all break into the chorus of "The Circle of Life"*) :-)

Daisy said...

Great post, Elliott! I'm all for planting more trees. I planted four trees in the yard of a former house we owned. They were thriving and doing great, and I was so excited about them. Then we found out we would be moving to another house. I was heartbroken when I went past our old house a while after we had moved and saw that they had removed all four of the trees that I planted!!

dogimo said...

Wait. If you've already planted trees, isn't your blog already Carbon-Neutral? What are these dudes doing differently?

Elliott said...

Daisy, I hate when people take trees out like that. If they were obtrusive, I could see moving them, but it just seems wrong to take them out.

Dogimo, I look at the past trees I've planted as offsetting my other carbon fauxs pas. Like my first car, with its 9 mpg.

Man, I miss that car.

Nej said...

Every time I see a a movie, in a store, on tv....I think that I'd really like to take up the hobby.

Then, for some reason, I never do.

Be nice and share!

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