Friday, December 5, 2008

Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The 76 year old tradition of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree goes a bit greener this year. The Norway Spruce shares the center stage this year, not just with singing sensations, but with the energy saving environment in which it’s displayed. The majestic tree is festooned with over 30,000 energy-efficient LED lights, powered by “a ground breaking permanent array of photovoltaic panels” installed on the roof of 45 Rockefeller Center (after the holidays, the panels will continue to help power the center). The tree is topped by a 9.5-foot, 550-pound Swarovski Star with more then 25,000 crystals and 1 million facets — the largest ever for a Rock Center tree. This year's tree is a 77 year old, 8-ton, 82-foot-tall Norway spruce from the Varanyak family in Hamilton, N.J. The family used it as their Christmas tree in 1931, then planted it outside. It has grown a bit since then.

The first Christmas tree ever erected at Rockefeller Center was placed there in 1931. This time the concept was green, a nod to the environment movement that is generating steam. Green is now a marketing strategy. Solar power is among the renewable energy technologies that play a key role in ecomagination; every little bit of energy savings helps. The use of LEDs lighting instead of incandescent bulbs will reduce the electricity consumption for a daily savings of energy equal to the electricity consumed by a typical 2,000-square-foot house for a month.

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