If you’re looking to add a little green to your white Christmas, consider turning to a real Christmas tree. Celebrating the holidays with a real Christmas tree instead of an artificial tree comes with plenty of environmental benefits.
A real Christmas tree is a natural, biodegradable product. It’s a plant—it’s not made in a plant. While they’re growing, real Christmas trees support life by absorbing carbon dioxide. A single young tree can absorb as much as 26 pounds of carbon dioxide each year; if you’ve got an acre of Christmas trees, that’s enough to equal the amount of carbon dioxide produced by driving an average car about 26,000 miles. Trees also release oxygen, stabilize soil, and provide refuge for wildlife.
When a real Christmas tree is cut down, there’s always another to take its place. As with other agricultural crops, Christmas trees are produced carefully to ensure a constant supply. For every tree that’s harvested, Christmas tree growers plant one to three new seedlings.
When the holiday season is over, real Christmas trees can be easily recycled for mulch and other purposes that foster new growth. Currently there are more than 4,000 Christmas tree recycling programs in the United States; most offer convenient curb-side pick-up or easy drop-off locations.
On the other hand, an artificial tree is, well, artificial. Most artificial trees are made from PVC, a petroleum-based, non-biodegradable plastic. Furthermore, the plastic fibers of an artificial tree are typically glued to a metal frame, which means it cannot be recycled. When you eventually have to dispose of your artificial tree, it will go to a landfill, where it will remain for centuries.
This holiday season, give the environment a gift as well by choosing a real Christmas tree.