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Real vs. Fake: Which Christmas Tree Is Better for the Environment?

It's the most wonderful time of the year! It's the season of decking the halls, sipping on egg nog, and wrapping presents. Holiday cheer is in the air and Christmas trees are lining the streets. You may be wondering what kind of Christmas tree - real or fake - is better for the environment and us being the eco-conscious people we are, are here to break it down for you! 

In short, real Christmas trees are more environmentally friendly. You may be wondering what?! Cutting down trees is good for the environment? We get it, it does seem very counter-intuitive. But having a real Christmas tree actually supports forests, not harms them. This because out of the 350-500 million Christmas trees grown on tree farms every year, only 30 million are harvested and cut for use as Christmas trees in our homes. When you purchase a real tree, you're supporting the tree farm business and allowing them to grow a healthy forest habitat. 

Additionally, real Christmas trees can be recycled after the holiday season comes to an end. Organizations use these trees for conservation and habitat projects in local communities, so they continue to have a positive impact on the environment even after they've been cut down. 

While artificial Christmas trees may seem more eco-friendly in theory since you will re-use it year after year, eventually most of these fake trees end up in landfills when they are discarded since they are made out of plastic and therefore cannot be recycled. 

Not to mention the impact of carbon emissions and resources these artificial tress have when being shipped across the world. In the US, about 10 million fake Christmas trees are purchased every season and most of them are made form PVC and steel in China that have to be then shipped over to the US. 

When you're deciding between a real vs. artificial Christmas Tree, the New York Times suggests asking yourself these two questions: Are you interested in supporting local economies? Do you want to keep plastic out of the landfills? 

If you answer yes to both of these, it's best you invest in a real Christmas tree this year! 

Sources: 
https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-priorities/protect-water-and-land/land-and-water-stories/real-vs-fake-christmas-tree/

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/26/business/energy-environment/fake-christmas-tree-vs-real-tree.html

 

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