Monthly Archives: November 2008

Making a Christmas Tree Green


Even the supposed cultural wasteland of Sydney has its Christmas traditions, one of them being a 20 metre tall Christmas tree in Martin Place. 

I remember as a kid, out on the annual family excursion to the city for Christmas shopping, that we would be drilled in what to do if we lost our parents in the crowds.

“Go to the Christmas tree in Martin Place and we’ll meet you there.”  It is iconic.  A seasonal landmark that has been there for 72 years.

Now don’t worry, Sydney City council haven’t given into missguided political correctness and done away with The Christmas Tree, but because of economic and enviromental pressures they are making for odd decision.

It was decided that the tree’s light would be turned off from 2am to 6am to save energy and making the tree more enviromentally friendly. I love the idea of having to make a tree greener…but I digress.

It is true that they will save energy and lower their electricity bill by turning off the lights, I just don’t know if night is the time to be doing it.  Several Nightclubs are situated around Martin Place and they would still be partying at the times specified.  I’m sure those people would love to see the tree in all its glory. 

Now before you start accusing me of being enviromentally insensitive, of being a typical energy glutton of the developed world, I have a suggestion.  Why not turn the lights off… in the day.  Instead of a token four hours during off peak, why not have 12 hours (7am-7pm) of peak rate electricity while the Sydney summer sun shines.  Doesn’t that make sense? 

See, it’s easy to make a Christmas tree green.