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No Question

December 8, 2008

Merry Kitschmas!, originally uploaded by boopsie.daisy.


Unless you can prove to me that real Christmas trees cause cancer or something equally horrible I’m not giving mine up. I just don’t think you get the same feel from a plastic tree and the annual tradition of finding just the right tree is one of my favorites. Even when I wasn’t at home or dating someone I always found someone to go with me on the tree hunt and had a great time kicking off the season.

Not to mention these interesting facts about plastic trees:

  • 85% of the fake trees sold in the U.S. are made in China (My real tree traveled 15 miles total)
  • Most artificial trees contain PVC which is a potential source of lead poisoning
  • Artificial trees can catch fire just as easily as real trees
  • Artificial trees are not biodegradable or recyclable

On the flip side real trees:

  • Each year, an acre of Douglas fir trees can absorb 11,308.7 lbs of carbon dioxide.
  • Tree farms plant 1 to 3 new trees for every one that is cut, in order to to maintain a constant supply.
  • A real tree can be recycled. The branches and trees can be ground into mulch.

Now I realize that real trees aren’t perfect. Many tree farms use pesticides and not all areas recycle trees. Just like any other consumer product we have to lobby for change and support those individuals that have made those changes. A simple google search will pull up a list of local (depending on where you live) tree farms, most I found didn’t have websites so you’d have to call around and find out about their use of pesticides. Even if you can’t find one that doesn’t use pesticides I would rather give my money to a local farmer that is more likely to change his farming habits. The other thing you will want to research is Christmas tree recycling. Many areas will have curbside pick up but if not you can call local nurseries or the farm where you got your tree to see if they will take it back.

To me the choice is a no brainer, I would rather spend money every year to support a sustainable enterprise versus decorate my house with plastic and chemicals.

What kind of tree do you have? Where did you buy it?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 8, 2008 3:17 pm

    We’re not getting a tree this year (new dog is sure to = knocked over tree and broken ornaments), but in the past we’ve done cut trees, and the first year we had a tree we bought a live one and planted it in the yard after the holidays.

    The off-gassing and materials used in plastic trees totally freak me out. I have considered getting a used aluminum tree. They have great kitsch factor going on and are fun. Plus, they are recyclable, and since they are used there’s no new materials involved. That said, I’m a little worried about the idea of our furry friends eating little pieces of aluminum that may break off. I would rather they eat pine needles if it came down to it.

  2. knutty knitter permalink
    December 8, 2008 5:36 pm

    Artificial tree here – real trees are hard to come by and cost heaps and don’t last either – it is the middle of Summer after all. On the other hand it gets used every year (my mothers one is now over 30) and the doors are always open for ventilation (and the shop).

    I find it hard to imagine Christmas being cold and snowy. Its more about the beach round here.

    viv in nz

  3. badhuman permalink*
    December 9, 2008 5:40 pm

    I like the look of Aluminum trees, I guess because they aren’t trying to be a Douglas Fir. You can see some beautifully decorated aluminum trees on

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