If you're like most of us, you're wondering if it's better for the environment to go with a real Christmas tree or an artificial tree. The short answer is: Real. Fake Christmas trees are made from vinyl, which off-gasses harmful chemicals and produces toxic dust for the life of the tree. Not to mention, when you are dead and gone - that tree will still be here. Not a very merry thought. Real Christmas trees, on the other hand, produce fresh oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide and other gases.
So - now that I may have won you over to the side of "real" Christmas Trees, you still have some choices to make, and I've ordered then by way of environmental impact (most to least):
- Buy a Fresh-Cut Tree from your local lot - most are grown on Pine Tree Farms, specifically designed for harvesting Christmas trees. Most neighborhoods now offer Christmas tree recycling - so your tree can become mulch and feed other trees after the holidays. The chemicals used to grow Christmas trees are minimal and highly regulated.
- Buy an Organic Pine Tree from your local nursery - these are small and pretty hard to come by but lucky you if you find you that works for you.
- Buy a potted Christmas Tree - and then replant it or keep it potted in your yard until next year.
- Rent a potted Christmas Tree - and return it to the Forrest when you're done! This is a hot new trend and there is a fabulous little company offering this service in Southern California: The Living Christmas Tree. The best thing about the Living Christmas Tree is that (a) they deliver it to your door and (b) they pick it up and replant it when you're done. You can even request (for a fee of $25) to rent the same tree again the following year!