Which Is Better: A Real Or Fake Christmas Tree? – tentree

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Which Is Better: A Real Or Fake Christmas Tree?

It's a real dilemma for environmentally conscious celebrators of Christmas - should I get a real Christmas tree or a fake one?

About 60% of Americas set up a fake Christmas tree year after year. My family was one of them! I think my mother has been putting up the same fake tree for 30 years now. But is my mom on the right side of this issue? Let's first look at the live tree: Most live Christmas trees don't come from the forest anymore. They're almost always grown on farms, or plantations. This is a good thing because it enables you to support local business, you're not doing any harm to the forest by removing a tree, and they're pretty easy to find.

Conservation groups also use Christmas trees. In Louisiana, they're used to bolster coastal wetlands. In Illinois, they're utilized to provide nesting grounds for herons.

But there's a downside to the live tree as well. Like many farmed plants, they're often grown with pesticides that are toxic to wildlife and, well, you too. The EPA recently banned some pesticides for use on trees intended for the indoors.

Then there's the fake Christmas tree. The pros are pretty short. They're cheap and reusable and you don't really have to decorate them. Put 'em up, take 'em down, store 'em, easy.

While fake trees are awesome for convenience and saving money, they're terrible for everything else. They're made of PVC, which releases the chemical dioxin during production. If the tree catches on fire, it'll emit that dioxin. They also contain hormone-disrupting phthalates and are contaminated with lead.

Bummer, right? It gets worse.

If you carefully read all of the reading material that comes with your fake tree, it'll actually tell you to wash your hands after touching them so you don't accidentally ingest brain-damaging chemicals. Is that something you really want in your living room?

Worst of all, when your fake tree craps out on you, you can't recycle it. You have to send it to the dump where it will stay for all eternity, leeching its lovely lead and other chemicals into your ground water. Drink up!

At the end of the day, the real tree wins. Your fake tree, made in China, does you no favors other than make the holiday season a little cheaper for you.

Your real tree, however, pumps money into your local economy, supports local farms, and can support local wildlife when the holidays are over.

But be conscious of where your tree comes from. Call the farm you're thinking of getting it from. Ask what pesticides they use. Ask if the trees are grown organically. There's no harm in learning a little bit about your tree first.

The post Which Is Better: A Real Or Fake Christmas Tree? appeared first on tentree.
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