Should people buy real or fake Christmas trees?
Turns out, both kinds have an environmental impact
How green is your Christmas tree?
Colour aside, scientists have been trying to figure out which kind of tree — real or fake — is better for the environment.
Research has shown both kinds have an environmental impact.
- Sometimes wilderness is destroyed to make way for Christmas tree farms.
- Real trees suck up greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide which is good, but they might not absorb as much as they release before they’re cut down.
- Sometimes trees are trucked in from far away and that produces pollution.
- Real trees can be chopped up and turned into mulch for gardening and landscaping, but sometimes they’re sent to the landfill instead.
- Some companies are renting Christmas trees in pots so they can be reused and you don’t have to take care of them the rest of the year.
- Natural resources like oil are used to make the plastic for the trees. Getting oil out of the ground, transporting it and turning it into plastic produces greenhouse gases.
- If the finished tree has to be trucked a long distance to get to your door, that also produces pollution.
- Fake trees can be donated and reused by other families, but sometimes they end up in the landfill.
- If you keep your fake tree for eight years or more, the environmental impact becomes a lot smaller.
This information comes from two studies.
One was done by an environmental company in Montreal in 2009. The other was written for the group that represents fake treemakers in the U.S. in 2010.
Tell us what you think.
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