We have surpassed Thanksgiving. Now it is finally acceptable to enjoy anything Christmas.
Since K and I now live together we had the very adult discussion about artificial vs. real Christmas trees. K’s family has historically gone with real trees, while my family has pretty much always went the fake route.
From an environmental standpoint which is better?
Both have their own pros and cons.
Artificial Tree Pros
- Don’t have to buy a new tree year after year, cheap
- Convenience: can come pre-lit, no needles
Artificial Tree Cons
- Will eventually be disposed of in a landfill
- Not made from environmentally friendly or recyclable materials (such as PVC)
- Most likely made in China (guessing here)
Real Tree Pros
- Can be composted and mulched up
- Local, grown in the USA
- Bolsters local, small business economies
- Smells awesome
Real Tree Cons
- Water, land, and resources used on Christmas tree farms
- Most likely grown with harmful pesticides
So which wins?
Again, both have pros and cons, but overall, a real tree at least provides some environmental benefit while it is maturing, such as CO2 removal and wildlife habitat. It is most likely trucked from less distance than an artificial tree and can be returned to the Earth when the season is over.
The life cycle of an artificial tree provides much less benefit and any fake tree that has ever been thrown out is currently sitting in a landfill right now. Just saying.