Real Christmas Trees are Real Green

Dec 1, 2010

When we talk about sustainability, it’s interesting to note that most “green” minded folks will tell you that, if you’re going to get a Christmas tree, it’s better to get a “real” tree.While there is certainly a lot of debate about the propriety of living versus synthetic trees, we urge you to consider a real tree this year.

Live trees, even those whose sole purpose is to be cut down and used as Christmas trees, absorb carbon dioxide and emit fresh oxygen as they grow, helping to abate the earth-warming greenhouse effect. According to scientists, one acre of trees produces the daily oxygen requirements for 18 people. Since there are approximately one million acres of Christmas tree farms in the United States, 18 million people benefit every day.

Synthetic or “fake” Christmas trees are typically made with polyvinyl chloride (or PVC, otherwise known as vinyl), one of the most environmentally offensive forms of non-renewable, petroleum-derived plastic. Dioxin and other carcinogens are created through the manufacturing of fake trees, 85% of which are manufactured in China, Korea, and Taiwan, which are countries that do not have strict environmental rules. With over 30 million fake trees ending up in landfills every year, we can help protect the earth and stimulate our own economy simply by buying live trees locally.

To be truly “green,” you can even purchase Christmas trees with the root ball intact, enabling you to plant the tree once you complete your holiday traditions. If you are buying a tree with a root ball, be careful. Such a live tree can begin to “wake up” inside of your home within one week and may not survive a cold planting. Purchasing a traditional live tree from your local tree farm also helps stabilize soil, protect water supplies, and provide refuge for wildlife.  For every live Christmas tree cut for sale, reputable tree farms plant 3-4 seedlings in its place. And a Christmas tree will be sprayed with fewer pesticides during its entire life span than a head of lettuce in one growing season.

After Christmas, we also urge you to recycle your tree for FREE. You may donate it to be chipped at the EDS Waste Transfer Station on Hwy 73 near Wonderview. They will be accepting trees between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm on Saturday, January 8th or 15th.  If you recycle your tree properly, it will turn into mulch for someone’s garden or bedding for a horse.  What better way for you and your family to complete the perfect cycle, to participate in protecting our delicate environment and to realize how the simple act of purchasing a real tree can make such a difference.

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