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Real vs. Artificial Christmas Trees

Here's the short list in easily digestible form:

Real Christmas Trees

Pros:
-Biodegradable
-Renewable
-Provide oxygen, remove CO2
-Some trees have a natural scent
-More natural appearance, atmosphere

Cons:
-Dry trees can be a fire hazard
-Allergic reactions
-Land can be used for better environmental purposes (not a monoculture, etc.)
-Yearly transportation cost in energy for the supplier and you
-Energy costs of displays

Artificial Christmas Trees

Pros:
-Lower price over time
-Larger selection of styles
-Can last 10 times longer
-Easier to transport, comes in sections
-No watering
-Flame retardant
-Professionally strung lights

Cons:
-Not biodegradable
-Made of plastics, production is not good for the environment
-Storage issues

The bottom line is that artificial and real Christmas trees are different. Is either better than the other? That depends on what YOU want. Real Christmas trees are biodegradable and their growth removes CO2 from the air, however, the yearly transport to and from tree lots, and from the lot to your home adds CO2 to the environment. Planting trees that get large and stay large would be a better environmental use of the land. Artificial Christmas trees are made of plastics, the production of which is not environmentally friendly, but they also save not only in transportation costs but also in dollars. Real Christmas trees are natural and many people feel they create a better Christmas environment, but artificial Christmas trees are perfectly shaped and don't need to be watered. As you can see, there are pros and cons to both. The best way to make a decision is to look at the list of advantages and disadvantages above and decide which issues are most important to you!

If you'd like to read more on the subject, see the following pages:

- Real or Fake? - A discussion on the merits of both.
- Artificial Vs. Real Christmas Trees - A CBS News story on the choice.


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