‘Tis the season to bring trees indoors and decorate them for the holiday season. But cutting down trees on the Mainland and shipping them to Maui–and then throwing them away–is not the most eco-friendly way to celebrate this season of giving.
There is a good option, however. The founders of the Plant a Wish project have launched their seventh annual “Planting Christmas” native tree sale and tree dedication project. Beginning this week, residents and visitors can order three-foot tall live, potted native ohi’a lehua trees that have been selected specifically for decorating during the holidays.
Following the holiday season, you can plant the tree yourself, or arrange for Plant a Wish to assist in planting. Those without a permanent place for the tree can ask the organization to plant it at an active native restoration site on Maui.
“I believe it’s important for the greater Maui community–residents and visitors alike–to help restore the native ecosystem,” said Plant a Wish founder Joseph Imhoff. “Planting Christmas is an easy way to do that. It’s like giving Maui a Christmas present.”
You can also order a tree to be planted on Maui and dedicated to a loved one. Customers can choose between four different species of native tree. Plant a Wish will then send the recipient gift cards and planting certificates.
“I think it’s silly–and totally unsustainable–that many of us here in the islands support such a wasteful tradition each holiday, which in our case requires trees to be cut… and flown thousands of miles to Hawaii,” said Sara Tekula, Inhoff’s wife who also helps run Plant a Wish. “With Hawaii’s native habitats in such dire straits, it seems we can make a simple, conscious choice to reverse this, and create a holiday tradition we can be proud of.”
Every tree ordered includes free delivery. All proceeds support the Plant a Wish project, a 50-state native tree planting campaign and documentary film project.
Photo courtesy Plant A Wish