12 Tree-facts to Consider

The Christmas tree question is one that always seems to have too many facets to get a proper handle on it. Real? Artificial? Cut one? Buy one? Sheesh! Who’s to know what the best practice is, in terms of sustainability and (yes, it’s a factor) enjoyment?

In researching the question this year, I’ve discovered that the opinions stated online (and there are ever-so-many of them!) are just as diverse as my own questions about the issue. I am currently better informed than I have ever been … and yet, there is still no easy answer on this question.

So, I’ll pass along what I’ve learned. But I’ll leave the decision about which practice is “best” for you to decide for yourself.

12. Artificial tree “pro”: they are reusable from year to year.

11. Artificial tree “con”: they are often made of petroleum products, waste natural resources in their manufacture and shipping, and eventually end up in landfills.

10. Real tree “pro”: they’re a renewable resource grown on tree farms that are replanted regularly, can be chipped into mulch, and contribute to the health of the environment while growing.

9. Real tree “con”: unless you’re planning on going to a local tree farm to get yours, the ones that are shipped into the grocery or retail stores are, like fake trees, using natural resources in the shipping of them.

8. Artificial tree “pro”: no needles shedding, no watering, no chance of pesticides.

7. Artificial tree “con”: not biodegradable and usually not recyclable.

6. Real tree “pro”: they smell so good! They just make the whole house smell like Christmas!

5. Real tree “con”: if you don’t go to the farm yourself, you can’t know for sure where and how they’re being cut down, or the answers to other questions about sustainability practices.

4. Artificial tree “pro”: if you shop at rummage sales or estate sales, you can recycle artificial trees by buying one that might otherwise end up in a landfill. I have often seen trees at these type of sales that are still in very good shape and could be used for a number of years.

3. Artificial tree “con”: let’s face it … they just aren’t the same kind of sensory experience that real trees are.

2. Real tree “pro”: now you can buy living Christmas trees that you can replant, potted Christmas trees that can be planted once they outgrow the pot, and you can even rent Christmas trees! (Renting means you pay for the tree, then after the season, the company picks it up and plants it for you.)

1. Real tree “con”: if you don’t consciously recycle them, they will also end up in a landfill. More than half of the live Christmas trees sold each year wind up in a landfill.

This year, my tree is an artificial one that I inherited when my grandmother passed away. I think it’s currently the most sustainable choice for me, since I am keeping it out of a landfill for a few more years. Maybe by the time that it needs to be replaced, we’ll have a better option for recycling artificial trees.

But I fully intend to go back to real trees eventually. I like the idea of having a potted tree that will eventually be transplanted.

Hope these points help clarify rather than confuse the issue! Tomorrow, we’ll be taking our green concerns and looking for ways to be both creative and eco-friendly in our gift choices: 11 Eco-friendly Gifts.

See you then!



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About MargaretAnne

Preacher, Writer, Aunt, Composter, Sew-er, Crafter, Dog-lover, World-traveler, Artist, Canner, Cook, Pray-er, Sister, Retreat-leader, Reader, Daughter.

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