The Pros and Cons of Artificial Trees vs. Real Trees
When weighing all factors into the debate as to which types of trees are more green – we side on that of REAL Christmas trees.
An added bonus when cutting a real tree is that you are supporting local economies, keeping workers employed in the USA and bringing home a product of the USA.
Here are some FAQ’s that explain why real tree wins the battle.
Aren’t lots of pesticides used in the growing of Christmas trees?
Christmas trees are a naturally pesticide-free crop. Trees attract the birds and wildlife that naturally keep the pest population in check.
Aren’t you removing oxygen from the air if you cut down a tree?
Good question. Look at it like this – a Christmas tree is specifically planted to be harvested. It is not the same as going into the forest and cutting down a tree that will not be replaced. A grower typically replaces each tree that is cut with 2 or 3 new trees, to ensure an ample supply from year to year. Each acre of Christmas Trees produces enough oxygen to meet the daily requirements of 18 people. In one year one acre of Douglas Firs can absorb about 11,300 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Aren’t real trees a fire hazard?
Carelessness causes the fire – overloaded electrical outlets and faulty wiring are usually the cause. Both are likely to burn. A few good tips on if you chose a real tree. Consider cutting your own tree so you ensure the tree was not sitting on the lot for a long time without being watered. Be sure to keep it well watered when you do get it home.
What gets put into the air during the manufacturing of an artificial tree?
Air pollution and waste from industrial by-products.
But don’t real trees end up in the landfill too?
Perhaps some do, but if you take living more green seriously you will recycle your real tree. Trees can be composted and turned into mulch. No matter what, an artificial tree is going to end up in the landfill. While tree manufacturers push the fact that an artificial tree will last 15 years, statistics show most people only keep theirs for 6 years.
What if I really don’t want to “kill a tree?”
Best solution is to buy a tree that you can plant after the holidays.
If you do not have a place to plant it and you are going to purchase an artificial tree, please make the commitment to keep it as long as it lasts.
Also look for one that is made in the USA and not China. It will make you feel better knowing that the conditions for workers were of a higher standard and that their wages were fair. It will also ensure they were made under tighter environmental regulations.
Some information from the National Christmas Tree Growers Association (www.christmastree.org) website:
“Most artificial trees are manufactured in China and contain PVC (polyvinyl chloride). In fact, artifical Christmas Trees were recently added to the Center for Health, Environment & Justice's list of household products containing PVC.
According to the Children's Health Environmental Coalition, the manufacture of PVC creates and disperses dioxins, which include the most toxic man-made chemical known. Released into air or water, dioxins enter the food chain, where they accumulate in fatty tissues of animals and humans, a potential risk for causing cancer, damaging immune functions and impairing children's development.”