Devastating fires that burned 5,000 hectares of forest in the area haven’t kept Haifa, Israel’s third-largest city, from being able to put up a massive Christmas tree in the center of town.
While the holiday project was planned by Israeli designer Hadas Itzcovitch and her father, artist Ernest Itzcovitch, well in advance of the tragic Carmel fire, it has taken on extra symbolism in the wake of the blaze, reminding people of the 5 million trees lost in addition to its intended environmental and social message. The bottles were collected by local residents — by “Haifa people, all of them, the Jewish, the Muslims, and the Christians”. The 38-foot tree is illuminated by energy-efficient LED lights and held together by other pieces of recycled plastic. “This tree that is made of recycled bottles represents the fact that we can live in harmony with the environment,” Haifa resident Yaron Openhhime told a Chinese news channel.