If you’re still trying to decide between getting a cut tree or an artificial for the holidays, here’s a few things to consider.
There’s still time for decking the halls, and if you’re an environmentally conscious guy like me, you might be torn between cutting down a living tree or purchasing an artificial tree that can be re-used. I’ve been asked several times which option is best for the planet, and ATTN: Video recently put out this clip, which breaks it all down for the Christmas consumer.
Considering the production end of things, fake trees are made of plastic, and are toxic to produce. Real trees on the other hand turn carbon dioxide into oxygen. For every tree that is cut, several more are planted.
Nearly 85% of artificial trees are made in China, and shipped overseas. I live in Corvallis, Oregon, where one million Christmas trees are grown on 8,500 acres at the nearby Holiday Tree Farm, the largest producer of Christmas trees in the United States. As a state, Oregon is one of the top producers of Christmas trees in the country, followed by North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Washington.
While there is a great deal of production and shipping that goes into every cut tree on the lot here in the states, there’s also a great deal of jobs (not to mention oxygen) created by the production of these trees. Just to give you an idea of what goes into packaging and shipping, check out this video of Mackenzie Tree Farms in Clackamas, Oregon preparing a load of trees bound for Costco.
Artificial Christmas trees can’t be recycled either. Real trees on the other hand can be left out for municipal yard waste, and picked up to create mulch for parks. In the Pacific Northwest, many conservation groups like the Coastal Conservation Association and Trout Unlimited will accept or pick up your trees after the holidays to use for salmon and steelhead habitat restoration projects.
Of course, another alternative is to buy a living tree you can replant after the holidays. Either way, there’s nothing better than the real thing.