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Real vs. Fake Christmas Tree

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

What's the better option for the environment?

The Christmas tree, one of the most important part of any Christmas decoration.

Every year around this time Christmas trees begin to be on a lot of people's minds – some cherish the scent of a real tree and the tradition of bringing one home, while others prefer the tidier, easier and cheaper option of a fake tree.

But what's the better option? Here's a look, we've made a list of pros and cons of a real Christmas tree and checked it twice.

CON: High maintenance

Real Christmas trees are the best to have for the amazing aroma, but they are pretty high-maintenance. Keeping it watered, the ground swept and worrying if they'll last until Christmas. One of the obvious reasons to getting an artificial tree is to eliminate some of these hassles.

PRO: Supporting local businesses Who doesn't like supporting locally owned small businesses? When buying a real Christmas tree from a nursery or farm you are doing exactly that. More than often, artificial trees are purchased from large chain stores and are mass produced, so that family-owned-and-operated nursery (hint, hint: Jetty's!) will greatly benefit from your business!

CON: You can reuse an artificial tree year after year Although a fake Christmas tree may cost more at the time of purchase, it can be used again and again, only a one time cost meanwhile you have to purchase a real one year after year, ending up costing you more in the long run of things. But who doesn't love going out every year and choosing the perfect tree?

PRO: Cutting down trees

Some may look at cutting down trees just for the holidays as bad, but don't feel bad - cutting down trees isn't always bad for the environment, especially Christmas trees as they are grown on farms, like corn or pumpkins, specifically planted for the holidays! They are not cut down from wild forests on a large scale. As the trees are growing on the farms, which takes just under a decade to grow a six-foot tree, they provide many benefits to the environment as they grow; cleaning the air and providing habitats for wildlife. For every tree purchased, farmers plant 1-3 seedlings in its place according to the National Christmas Tree Association.

Artificial trees actually have x3 times the impact on climate changes and produces more greenhouse gases. Take one key product it takes to make these thousands of artificial trees – plastic, which requires more energy to create, shipped overseas from China and eventually will end up in a landfill were it will take years to decompose. Whereas, when you are completely done with your tree, the City of Greater Sudbury will pick it up up at the curb during your normal waste collection day and they are composted! To make artificial trees more environmentally friendly they must be used for many years (at least eight years, but studies say preferably more than 20).

So, the short answer is a real tree actually has less of an environmental impact than an artificial one.

In the end, each one may both have their flaws and benefits. I personally believe real trees are the better looking, better smelling, and better option. It's a great Christmas family tradition to head over to your local nursery/greenhouse and pick out the perfect Christmas tree that can be done for many years!

What do you prefer?

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