Green: not just the color of Mexico's Christmas trees
Tuesday, December 03, 2013 - 01:34
Dec. 3 - Getting ready for Christmas, people are seeking out ''green'' trees at sustainable tree farms outside Mexico City. Jeanne Yurman reports.
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On the outskirts of Mexico City, at a plantation called El Pinar de la CIMA, people are finding truly "green" Christmas trees. That is, trees that are part of a multi-decade government conservation program. Areas like this 10,000 hectares of land were once at risk of soil erosion as farmers faced shrinking harvesting fields. Of the 40,000 trees here only 5,000 can be cut. With regulations on cutting and the promise of as much as 500 percent returns on their investments, instead of oats or beans, forest farmers like German Lopez is happy to be re-planting trees and welcoming the Christmas crowd. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) FOREST FARMER, GERMAN LOPEZ, SAYING: "Now that environmental services are popular, they learn about carbon capture that goes on in these forests, which are forest plantations and also the situation - these forests will support the aquifer mantles to fill them with water." While the popularity of artifical trees is still rising, customers like Sandy Reyes treasure the fresh pines. (SOUNDBITE (Spanish) CUSTOMER, SANDY REYES, SAYING: "That feeling of being in contact with nature, with the family and loved ones here and elsewhere. It's lovely." Two-thirds of the 1.8 million Christmas trees sold in Mexico every year come from the United States or Canada. But thanks to the lure of Mother Nature's green trees, sustainable tree plantations like this one continue to grow. .
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