8206442063?profile=originalEach year, the environmentalist in you may feel torn about Christmas trees. On the one hand, it seems wrong to cut down a healthy tree for one month of enjoyment. On the other hand, it feels just as troubling to buy an artificial tree made of plastic (a petroleum-based product), which will eventually require disposal in a landfill. So which option is least impactful? The answer is not clear-cut.

 Another important thing to know is that Christmas trees are not cut from wild forests. They are grown by farmers, as a crop meant to be cut down. According to an article in the LA Times, the most common Christmas tree grown in California is also less water-intensive than fruit trees and these trees do provide a benefit while growing – absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. There are also living-tree options that exist as well.

 According to a study released by the American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA), if reused for at least five years, an artificial tree is more favorable for the environment. The study reviewed the manufacturing, transportation, and disposal impacts of artificial trees, and compared the planting, fertilizing, watering, transportation, and disposal of similar-sized real trees. If you are leaning towards an artificial tree to reuse in the years to come, perhaps search for one manufactured in the US rather than overseas

 Other individuals and groups present the least impactful option to be shopping at a local tree farm, and then either composting or recycling the tree into mulch. Remember, flocked trees cannot be composted – if you go with real, do not get it flocked. Also, check with your garbage hauler or local Scout group for Christmas tree pickup days for composting/recycling.

Also, don’t forget to make the switch to LED lights to minimize the energy use this holiday season!



ACTA Study

LA Times Article

NY Times Article

Photo by Alisha Williams on Unsplash

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