With the holiday season upon us, state agriculture departments across the country are urging consumers to buy locally. In particular, they are urging consumers to buy local Christmas trees.
The Christmas tree industry has been struggling over the past several years. Growers have been hit hard by the recession. As consumers tighten their belts and reevaluate their budgets, many have decided to forgo Christmas tree purchases entirely. In addition, many consumers are spending less on trees and many more are choosing cheaper, artificial trees instead.
Buying locally, however, is better for the environment and better for local economies. The Maryland Department of Agriculture has issued a statement claiming that, “Buying a locally grown tree is much more environmentally sound than buying an artificial one. Fake trees are usually petroleum based, imported from overseas and do not biodegrade so they eventually end up in landfills forever.”
In addition to environmental concerns, buying locally helps family farms in the area and pumps much needed cash into local economies.
This emphasis on local agricultural production is nothing new. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been urging consumers to buy local produce for years. In particular, their Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food campaign has stressed the benefits of establishing local ties with farmers.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer