Fake Plastic Trees

Dear Readers,

Recycle Man dropped out of The Avengers movie at the last minute because his costume wasn’t made out of recyclable material.

On my morning drive to New Seasons to drink their free customer coffee buy groceries, I nostalgically bore witness to the passing of my favorite holiday with the surfacing of Christmas Tree recycling stations. And while I hate to wish Christmas goodbye, I love to recycle, be it cans, bottles, boxes, wrappers, clothes, kittens, small children*, or other items. Really, my recycling rule of thumb is that if it’s there and if you can lift it, you should throw it in the nearest recycling bin, and then you can go back to buying aerosol cans, packing your leftovers in styrofoam, and dropping hazardous waste around town, knowing you did a good deed by recycling that toddler who was just blatantly crawling around in his environmentally-unfriendly plastic diapers until you spotted him.

I can lift my Christmas tree, so I carefully removed all of the ornaments, threw it in the car, and headed to the nearest tree recycling station, eager to earn karma points for next Christmas. I approached the recycling volunteers and announced my intent to recycle my tree.

“That’s not a real tree,” the volunteer informed me upon eyeing my tree.

“Of course it is,” I answered, somewhat offended by his insinuation. “It’s not an apparition; it’s not make-believe; reach out, you can even touch it.”

“Yes but, it’s plastic,” he argued, “It’s not a tree made out of wood.”

“What makes you say that?” I replied. “Maybe the wood just looks plastic.”

“Ma’am, I saw you unfold it when you took it out of your car. Also my parents have that same tree; they bought it from Costco seven years ago.”

You can imagine, Readers, that by this point both myself and my apparently imaginary tree were pretty insulted, so I took off with my tree in hand, carefully folding its surprisingly resilient branches before repositioning it in my backseat. Together we headed home, stopping only to recycle a stray kitten*.

But while I couldn’t recycle my tree, Readers, you can, and if you’re lucky enough to be a Portlander, go to this website for more information on how to physically part with your tree. If like me you’re sad to see the season go and need more information on how to emotionally part with your tree, might I suggest a Christmas counselor, such as your favorite blogger Counselor Troi, on whom you can always rely for unsound advice.

–Troi out

*Troi does not actually recycle animals or small children, nor does she think you should. Any evidence to the contrary, such as the discovery of her ancient blogging scrolls, should be disregarded as unreliable, untrue, and unbelievable.

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