Thursday, December 6, 2007

Fake or Real?

Christmas trees, that is.

I'm a fan of real tree. I love the smell of the tree. I grew up with real trees, and only had a fake one for a very short time period (they triggered nasty asthma in a certain ex of mine).

Some people love the convenience of fake trees. I will give that the pre-lit trees are neat, and they are getting much more realistic.

But my topic for the day is: which is more socially/environmentally responsible?

I've seen some people say its definitely an artificial tree, because it can be reused year after year. I, however, disagree.

Artificial trees:
* made with plastic (i.e. petroleum products)
* eventually will have to be disposed of, and will never break down
* likely made in China, with the carbon footprint that comes from shipping across the sea and to your store
* collect dust in the attic/basement over the years

Real trees:
* Likely grown fairly close by - at least in this country
* Christmas tree farming is fairly low-impact, often on land that can't grown anything else (at least the farms I am familiar with in the NC mountains)
* When a tree is cut down, another one is planted in its place
* Christmas tree farms are often small-scale farms
* Live tree sales are often fund raisers for local non-profit groups
* After Christmas, the trees can be mulched by your local municipality or left in a corner of your backyard to compost naturally and provide shelter for wildlife.
* The just smell so much better!

I realize my list is biased toward real. Anyone have other pros or cons for either side? You won't change my mind, but I would like to make my list more comprehensive.


Gypsy said...

The traditionalist in my likes a real one, but the fake ones are so easy. :)

Heidi said...

I grew up with a fake one and this is my 2nd year with a real one. I love how the real ones look so...real (go figure!). But they're such a mess to clean up!!!

Sarah B said...

Miss Safety, I'm suprised that you did not weight the economical factor of the number of fires caused/perpuated by real trees. Environmentally- go with real; Safety- go with fake.