Shop any home improvement store or department store and its easy to see that fake, pre lit Christmas trees are as popular as ever. Many people wait until after Christmas every year to buy their plastic version of the holiday tree and drag down from the attic every year. For a lot of people, this has become a ‘green decision,’ in an effort to simply not be part of the major movement of cutting down trees needlessly, only to toss them in the trash once the holiday is over. And this debate, along with others such as whether cloth diapers are better for the environment than disposable ones has become quite heated.
The problem is that people often find themselves on one side of the fence, unrelentingly being able to let go of their feelings about the matter. And this powerful emotion can also lead to confusion for others who just want to make the right decision. But comparing live trees to fake trees is really unnecessary – especially if your concerns are environmental in nature. In fact, according to the National Christmas Tree Association the debate should be over because their research and findings is in defense of live/real Christmas trees for the holiday season as an environmentally friendly option.
Most importantly, as a consumer you should adopt a live and let live approach to the Christmas tree debate. Every family, does things in their own way and they shouldn’t be chastised for doing so. This is especially true at Christmas time!
Following are just some of the reasons that purchasing a live tree for your holiday decorating is such a good idea.
- The live trees that you purchase are grown in reputable and sustainable farms in the United States and Canada. Whereas around 85% of all fake Christmas trees are made in China. Considering the fact that the US and Canada purchase more trees than any other country in the world, it only make sense that we should capitalize on our own purchases.
- Real trees are produced through farming, which is environmentally friendly as opposed to factory manufacturing, which produces harmful emissions into the atmosphere.
- It is estimated that because of Christmas tree production around 45 million trees are planted each and every year in the United States and Canada alone. Additionally, the Christmas tree business ensures that around 500 million trees are safe and growing annually, which is extremely environmentally friendly.
- Live trees in general support the eco-system. When you consider how many trees are grown for the sole purpose of farming for Christmas, experts believe that live Christmas trees actually sustain the environment, whereas the factories that produce the fake Christmas trees take away from the environment.
- One huge defense of live Christmas trees is that they 100% biodegradable where as the plastics and metals (often including PVC) of fake trees IS NOT! Fake Christmas trees also include a healthy dose of lead in the manufacturing process which can make them a health hazard in the home.
- You should also know that your fake tree that you believe is saving the universe, is a petroleum by-product, which means it is not carbon neutral. Interestingly, live trees absorb carbon dioxide and release these essential elements into the soil when they decompose.
- While it is true that most farmers do use some pesticides to keep the trees healthy, scientists have found that the run-of and waste material from the production of fake trees is 90 times worse than the chemicals used on live tree farm. Plus, in 2010, a panel of scientists that tested nearly 5,000 trees harvested in the United States and Canada, found that the trees themselves did not have any trace amounts of chemicals on the trees consumers were buying. On the contrary, the plastic tree in your living room is constantly dispersing dioxins into the air in your home – which has been found to be one of the most dangerous cancer causing compounds known to man and animals.
In addition to that, the disposal of your live Christmas tree is not harmful to the environment. But when you decide to trade in your plastic tree – it will never fully disappear. In fact, research shows that they stay in landfills an indefinite amount of years. Your decomposing tree, will not only be a host to many other forms of animal life – but will also release nutrients back into the soil.
With such stringent regulations on farms these days, Christmas trees farms are a renewable resource. Not only do farmers replant trees annually, but they are making richer soils with their farming techniques. Unfortunately, with the manufacturing of plastic petroleum based trees, manufacturers are not using a renewable resource!
If you cannot decide and worry that your purchase of a live tree this season will be an environmentally negligent decision, you should know it won’t! In fact, research has proven over and over again that when it comes to your Christmas tree, the healthy choice – the smart choice, is a live one.
Plus, be honest. Nothing can put you in the holiday mood more than the smell of pine sap in your home. Would you rather your children be inhaling the fresh smell of a recently cut tree or the dioxins from your plastic masterpiece? And if you are truly worried, then think about purchasing a potted Christmas tree that you can plant in your yard after the holidays are over.