Planting an Idea: Choosing a Real vs. Artificial Christmas Tree

Planting an Idea: Choosing a Real vs. Artificial Christmas Tree

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The debate over which is healthier — an actual or a man-made Christmas tree — has been raging on for many years, with armies of staunch supporters on either side. In the curiosity of full disclosure, this creator stands with two ft planted firmly in the true tree camp. So relatively than a balanced overview of the state of affairs, you’re about to learn a pro-real-tree screed with the unabashed purpose of conversion.

First of all, after all, come the environmental ramifications of every selection. Which is worse, chopping down, buying, and disposing of a dwell tree yearly? Or selecting one plastic one to make use of yr in and yr out? To reply this, let’s break it down with some info supplied by the Recycling Council of British Columbia, aptly named The Great Christmas Tree Debate.

Artificial Christmas tree
Photo by Skylar Kang

Artificial Trees

These are largely produced in China, Taiwan, and South Korea below lax environmental requirements and poor working circumstances. Oil is the primary ingredient in synthetic Christmas bushes. And as soon as manufactured, the factitious bushes should journey 1000’s of miles to succeed in the patron, burning fossil fuels all the best way (ho ho ho!).

Most synthetic bushes have a median lifetime of seven to 10 years, throughout which era phthalates can accumulate in, and harm, the lungs, liver, and reproductive organs. Artificial bushes can’t be recycled, and they also should both be incinerated and launch carcinogens into the ambiance, or head to the landfill the place they may by no means break down.


Now, how concerning the previous standby, that barely lopsided Charlie Brown tree you picked up within the sketchy tree lot that mysteriously appeared within the 7-11 car parking zone?

Real Christmas tree
Image courtesy of K. Shuyler

Real Trees

Locally grown bushes assist native economies, with tens of thousands and thousands of bushes offering employment each year-round and within the non permanent season main as much as the vacations. Each acre of Christmas bushes produces the day by day oxygen wants for 18 folks. And the foundation system of every tree helps to stabilize native soil methods and stop water sedimentation.

It’s true that improperly used pesticides might have detrimental results on surrounding pure environments. And a Christmas tree that’s allowed to dry out can pose a hearth hazard. But when Christmas passes, the bushes are 100% biodegradable and recyclable. Many municipalities have Christmas tree recycling applications that flip previous bushes into mulch and wooden chips to make use of in backyard beds to nourish the soil.

So on the eco-friendly entrance, dwell bushes are a transparent winner, fingers down. But, for this Christmas aficionado, there may be one other issue that pushes the true tree to the gold medal spot with no shadow of a doubt. You see, a detailed runner-up to the financial and environmental concerns of actual bushes is the easy custom of the factor. I imply, one doesn’t merely stroll to the attic and pull a whole Christmas tree from a crumpled cardboard field pre-lit! Where’s the custom that builds fond recollections?

Some of my fondest recollections of Christmas are standing in a freezing chilly car parking zone with my 5 siblings and exhausted mother and father, wandering in circles because it turned ever-darker, making an attempt to agree on some poor specimen to take house. My little sisters all the time pined for anemic-looking shrubs, whereas my brother and I rallied for 8-foot tall monstrosities. Let me inform you, the recollections of my mother and father arguing in a car parking zone forest whereas my father turned more and more apoplectic with rage over the worth tags and my toes slowly froze is be one I’ll cherish ceaselessly.

Now that’s the way it’s completed. Merry Christmas!

Want extra Christmas tree choices? Read 4 Ways to Have the Greenest Christmas Tree

Feature picture courtesy of cottonbro. Originally revealed on December 1, 2014, this text was up to date in November 2021.