The Carbon Footprint of Holiday Plants

You might love your yearly poinsettia, but do you know where its from? Although they are considered winter plants, poinsettias are actually grown in warm climates and are native to Mexico. Most poinsettias in North America are grown in Mexico and Southern California, and then shipped everywhere else during the holiday season. Poinsettias are perennial, but are very tricky to keep alive all year round in a New England climate. Green thumbs may be able to keep their poinsettias alive past the holiday season and even put them outdoors in the summer, but for those of us who tend to kill plants, we may want to opt for a more hardy holiday plant in order to avoid waste.

One such alternative is a Christmas cactus. These are not native to New England either, but are much easier to keep all year round so there is no need to order a new plant each year. Plus, it blooms right around the holidays each year, making it a festive addition to any room's decor. Theses cacti can adapt to a variety of temperatures and amounts of light (unlike poinsettias), but do need to be regularly watered (and like most plants, does need some sunlight). So cut your longterm holiday footprint by opting for greenery that will last from year to year!