Cyber Maandag

Kerstboom
The Dutch don’t do Black Friday or Cyber Monday, obviously, since they don’t do Thanksgiving, either. However, I suppose the holiday shopping starts in earnest around the time that Sinterklaas makes his arrival every November. Still, it’s kind of a relief not to have that mad rush at ungodly hours.

I know many people do enjoy the Black Friday shopping, but not being a fan of crowds, I can’t stand the idea. Having worked retail in a tiny store in a big mall during the holiday season has also put me off the shopping madness! If you’re like me and prefer to avoid the crowds, Cyber Monday (today) and online shopping in general, can be quite handy. If that’s the case, you can always buy a copy of my Year in Utrecht calendar! Or something from my Handmade page, which I’ll be updating with a couple more items in the days to come. There’s also the Ukelution T-shirt or sticker for any ukulele fans, and all the rest of the photos I’ve put up on Red Bubble.

I’m pretty that’s the last of the seasonal plugging I’ll be doing of my stuff for sale. On the other hand, if all you’re looking for is a real Christmas tree in Utrecht, check the Saturday flower market at Janskerkhof. They already have the Christmas trees for sale, even though many Dutch don’t put up a tree until after Sinterklaas. The trees are certainly tinier than some of the big trees I used to buy in the States, but I’m sure there are other places to go outside the city center to find the bigger trees. If you’ve seen taller Christmas trees for sale in Utrecht (and the surrounding area), feel free to leave a comment with the location. We’ve got a faux tree, but there’s always someone looking for the real deal!

Evergreen Energy Trees

End of (Holi)days

In discussing Christmas trees in the comments section here last week, different collection processes were mentioned. I didn’t know of Utrecht doing anything specific, but now it turns out that Utrecht is part of a pilot program to process discarded Christmas trees into green energy. During the first two weeks of January, the trees will be picked up and processed separately, and then sorted and shredded and so on, with parts of the trees becoming biofuel and the rest becoming compost.

It seems that Christmas trees are usually difficult to compost, since their wood is hard and takes too long to break down. Many of them end up in the incinerator, which then produces CO2. With this new process, they can be broken down and used more effectively, with the ultimate result of producing more electricity than they use.

You can read more about it in an article here (in Dutch).