Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wie grün sind deine Blätter!

While sitting around a yule log a couple days ago, some friends and I discussed the relative merits of the ongoing Fake versus Real argument. 


Don't get any ideas. We were, of course, talking about Christmas trees.

Eventually, after discussing ease of set up and aesthetics, we came to the question of which is better for the environment. It seemed intuitive to me that real trees, even farmed and cut as they are, were the right choice for environmentally minded people -- such as myself. 

Intuition confirmed
If you want a tree for the holiday, the experts at Grist and TreeHugger say it's actually better to buy a cut real Christmas tree than an artificial tree.

Why? In a word, plastics. Fake trees are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Producing this type of plastic creates a lot of pollution, and PVC is difficult to recycle.

Plus, lead has been found in PVC. According to a report(PDF) in the Journal of Environmental Health, lead levels are higher in older artificial trees. You've probably heard about lead in children's toys, so just imagine the kiddos hanging around lead-tainted branches of your fake Christmas tree. Not a merry scene.

Farmed Christmas trees are ultimately a renewable resource. Growing trees absorb carbon dioxide, and after the holidays, the trees can be recycled into mulch.
So, what about you? Do you like them real, fake or not at all?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Real for me, but I do have fond memories of a truly kitschy aluminum tree with a psychedelic color wheel...ah, childhood!

Anonymous said...

Real for me. Plus, dug trees are cheaper than fresh cut and can be planted in the yard in the spring and bring year round reminders of each Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Fake vs. cut? What about a still-living tree? It's a few more dollars, but you also get less needles to clean up and you get a tree that can join your previous years' Christmas' trees in the yard, all continuing to grow and breathe in that CO2.

Anonymous said...

Dug trees are actually cheaper! Smaller, but cheaper!

Kem White said...

We get a real tree though I really dislike setting it up. One of my favorite days of the year is the day when all the decorations are put back in boxes and the tree is on the curb waiting to be mulched.
K-

B. Santos said...

We always get a cut tree. One of the recent additions in the Santos home has been the addition of LED lights on the tree. They use very little electricity, give off almost no heat (pretty much cool to the touch), and the LED element is rated to last approximately 20,000 hours. Greener, safer,buy once, and never have to replace a bulb again.

MrGS said...

I'm more at ease with going to a Christmas tree farm and getting me a real tree. It's tradition to me and my family.

Anonymous said...

runescape money runescape gold tibia gold runescape accounts runescape gp buy runescape gold tibia gold tibia money buy runescape money runescape items

Anonymous said...

29833691750427282 Earthrise Air Jordan Shoe
and GHD Hair Straighteners
and Replica Watch
and Replica Handbag
of Masthead DVD BoxSet Studios, where DVD BoxSets we read that DVD Box Set Earthrise is DVD TV Series scheduled for DVD Box Sets release DVD Box Sets For Sale for third Best DVD Box Sets quarter of 2010.