Christmas Trees: Real vs. Fake

Every year my husband and I debate whether we should break down and buy an artificial tree or continue to make the trek to a tree farm to cut down a living tree. Real tree has won out so far. But even though the smell of pine is lovely, part of me is filled with guilt about the waste of all those living trees. Wouldn’t it better to get an artificial one that lasts for years?

Well according to a Ellipsos, a company dedicated to sustainable development, natural is the better option with respect to the impacts on climate change and resource depletion. Most fake trees are made with polyvinyl chloride (or PVC, otherwise known as vinyl), one of the most environmentally offensive forms of non-renewable, petroleum-derived plastic. Several known carcinogens, including dioxin, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride, are generated during the production of PVC, polluting neighborhoods located near factory sites (mostly in China).

Natural trees can be a big problem for towns and cities that aren’t prepared for the amount of trees being discarded. However, many cities and towns collect trees and recycle them into mulch. Continue reading “Christmas Trees: Real vs. Fake”

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December 2011
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