The Great Christmas Tree Debate

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It’s only a couple of weeks away; the Christmas trees are coming.

For many of us, that jewel of spruce, fir or pine twinkling with lights and decked out with treasured ornaments is the centerpiece of our holiday celebrations.

But every year families throughout our nation go through the big debate – get a live tree or an artificial one. We hear from folks who are worried that getting a tree is less environmentally responsible than buying an artificial one. That way, the argument goes, you only buy one tree and aren’t helping denude the forests for the holidays.

For those of you concerned about having a real Christmas tree and its effects on the environment, here’s a couple of things to consider.

  • Most artificial trees use polyvinyl chloride, a non-biodegradable compound that produces carcinogens during the tree manufacturing process and when it’s disposed. (On average, artificial Christmas trees last about five to seven years).
  • Most artificial trees are produced in China, so shipping them here also adds to their carbon footprint.
  • Cut Christmas trees are typically not being chopped down in a forest near you; from Oregon to North Carolina, Christmas trees are grown on farms as a sustainable crop. A single Christmas tree farm can absorb a ton of CO2, plus each acre of trees produces enough oxygen to meet the daily needs of 18 people!
  • Most cut Christmas trees are recycled.

And if you really want to be pro-environment, how about a potted Christmas tree? Bring it into your home, decorate it and when the holidays are over, plant it in your backyard (and if you don’t have the room to plant it, call your local parks and rec department or nonprofit group that could use a tree – they’d probably appreciate the donation).

For me, the real argument for a live tree is tradition.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas without that rich evergreen smell in the house from a live tree, garland, and wreath. Placing ornaments and lights on those soft, supple bristles is just more rewarding than decorating an artificial tree. And then there’s the tradition of a fun night out with my family, bundled up in our coats and scarves, finding that perfect tree to grace our home this season. It just feels more in keeping with the holidays than hauling an artificial tree out of the garage!

We’ll be getting our selection of cut and potted trees the week of Thanksgiving.

Look forward to seeing you soon,