The Christmas tree is one of the most well -known icons of the season. For most homes, the centerpiece and main attraction for their celebrations is in fact the merrily decorated pine tree. However, shopping and decorating for Christmas trees leaves socially conscious customers with some real questions. What kind of tree is greener? Do I buy a real tree or an artificial tree? Is there such a thing as an organic Christmas tree?
To answer the question of which tree is greener, it would seem that neither the real or artificial tree are very green. Real trees are now grown on farms, resolving the issue of deforestation, however there are still many environmental concerns surrounding everyone’s favorite pine tree. Real trees require fertilizer and fueled vehicles to maintain in addition to using up fuel when they are shipped to less wintery places like Florida. Artificial trees aren’t much better because they are mostly made in China out of a pollutant called polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and have been found to contain harmful chemicals like lead. Not to mention, when you dispose an artificial tree they will last for centuries in a landfill.
So what exactly are the greenest options for a Christmas tree?
Buy Locally from an Organic Farm.
Buying locally cuts fuel emissions while buying organic ensures that the Christmas tree wasn’t exposed to pesticides and chemicals. You can find a list of organic farms from all over the country at Local Harvest.
Decorate an Outside Tree.
What better way to go green with Christmas than to decorate a tree that’s already sitting in your yard? It is 100% natural, there is no need to chop it down, it doesn’t have to be shipped anywhere, and it will light up the neighborhood with some Christmas cheer.
Use a “Bulb” Tree.
A great green option for a Christmas tree is the living, planting friendly “bulb” tree. Inside, the tree can be decorated for the holidays with ornaments and such. When the holidays are over, you can then plant the tree outside, which will help in the fight against global warming and give some animals a home.
American Made Artificial Trees
If you prefer an artificial tree, make sure to buy one that was made in the good old U.S.A. This decreases the likelihood of harmful chemicals entering the home while supporting the local economy. Although artificial trees are made with petroleum products, they avoid annual fuel wasting tree shopping and don’t require any pesticides.
Don’t fret about making a choice between the lesser of environmental evils this Christmas season. Instead, exercise some of the green options available so you can help our planet to the best of your capability.
Your Daily Green: How to Pick the Best and Greenest Christmas Trees