Christmas Trees: Real vs. Fake

Posted on by Paula Gallagher

Every year my husband and I debate whether we should break down and buy an artificial tree or continue to make the trek to a tree farm to cut down a living tree. Real tree has won out so far. But even though the smell of pine is lovely, part of me is filled with guilt about the waste of all those living trees. Wouldn’t it better to get an artificial one that lasts for years? Well according to a Ellipsos, a company dedicated to sustainable development, natural is the better option with respect to the impacts on climate change and resource depletion. Most fake trees are made with polyvinyl chloride (or PVC, otherwise known as vinyl), one of the most environmentally offensive forms of non-renewable, petroleum-derived plastic. Several known carcinogens, including dioxin, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride, are generated during the production of PVC, polluting neighborhoods located near factory sites (mostly in China). Natural trees can be a big problem for towns and cities that aren’t prepared for the amount of trees being discarded. However, many cities and towns collect trees and recycle them into mulch. Even taking into consideration the amount of water and land used to grow the trees, and the fuel used to transport the trees, natural trees still win out when it comes to a smaller carbon footprint. Some people prefer to get a small, live Christmas tree. This is a wonderful option, but you have to take good care of the tree, and remember to plant it! Read more about this idea, and also about the carbon impact of different Christmas trees options at this excellent site [add link to that bit you cited below). Also, check out this company's unique and green way for providing green Christmas trees.