Do you buy a fresh cut tree every Christmas? Do you put up a faux tree? What about your garlands and wreaths?
There are definitely pros and cons to both real and fake Christmas greenery. Fresh cut trees and garlands are usually grown locally and many are sold by charitable organizations – a portion of profits may be given back to the charity. Christmas trees are generally farmed, meaning that for every one tree harvested 1 to 3 seedlings are planted. Christmas trees can be recycled or mulched. Plus there is that lovely fresh evergreen scent filling your home and the fact that trees absorb carbon dioxide. On the other hand, there are the fallen needles to consider, the wrestling with the tree whilst trying to get it to stand straight and the annual cost associated with purchasing a tree.
Artificial greenery has its pros: reusable, no-mess, better models being made every year. But I question the environmental repercussions. Most models cannot be recycled. How toxic are the materials? According to the National Christmas Tree Association, 85% of artificial trees in the United States are imported from China and are typically made from PVC, a non-biodegradable and non-recyclable material. Some may contain lead, in which case you need to be sure that family members are not handling the tree too often.
What do you do for your Christmas greens? Have you changed recently – were you once faithful to a live tree and have recently switched to fake? Or maybe the other way around? For more information about the real versus fake discussion check out The Great Debate: Real Vs. Artifical Christmas Trees.
On a related note, if you are keen on having a real tree for Christmas you may want to support the Trees for Troops Program . This organization helps deliver trees military families nationwide and support families who are separated during the holidays because of military deployment.