A researcher in Australia investigated the carbon footprint of a real cut evergreen versus an artificial tree and found that real Christmas trees are indeed "greener" than artificial trees. Does this end the annual debate? We hope so! The only way for an artificial to be kinder to the environment than a live one is surprising, too.
For an artificial to be kinder to the environment, the researcher says the homeowner must use the same artificial tree for two decades. Two decades! In twenty years, those white and silver artificial trees may be long dated.
"3 kilograms of carbon dioxide is produced in the growing, transportation and disposal of a real tree compared with the 48 kilograms produced in the manufacture of the average artificial tree," the article states. The research was commissioned by the Australian environment minister.
Clint Springer, a biologist at Saint Joseph University in Philadelphia agrees, according to MSNBC. "From a greenhouse gas perspective, real trees are "the obvious choice," Springer says in the article.
Real trees are also often recycled after the holiday, whereas artificial trees end up in the dump more often than not.
"Real Christmas trees greener than the plastic variety," EarthTimes 12/12/09
"Real Christmas trees greener than fake," LiveScience, MSNBC.com 12/10/09
Image: Lindsey Roberts