Real Christmas Trees: The Environmental Choice

By Jacqui Flaherty, Program Manager

Celebrating the holiday season with a Real Christmas Tree is a long-standing tradition. Each year, 30 to 35 million American families celebrate the holiday season with a fresh, farm-grown Christmas Tree. Christmas Tree enthusiasts believe the aroma of a Real Christmas Tree is a strong reminder and symbol of life, family traditions and the innocence of childhood itself.  A farm-grown Christmas Tree provides food for the soul, for many people!

For my family, the real versus artificial Christmas Tree debate seems to replay itself each year.  “Should we get a real tree?” or “Should we just put up the artificial one?” — these are the questions we hear over and over at my house. But, as I do my research, it seems to me that the real Christmas Tree is the environmental choice!

For those of you artificial tree-lovers out there, why do you always put up the artificial tree? I know in my family, GUILT happens to be the reason my parents usually put up their artificial Christmas Tree. My mom feels guilty cutting down a new tree each year, however, this year, I may be able to persuade her into getting a real tree after doing some research and finding out that real trees are truly more sustainable and environmentally safe than the artificial option.

Things to consider when making your decision are:

  • While they are growing, Real Christmas Trees support life by absorbing carbon dioxide and other gases and emitting fresh oxygen.
  • Real Christmas Trees are grown on a farm, just like any other crop. Harvesting a Christmas Tree is no more damaging to the environment than harvesting vegetables!
  •  According to the Ohio Christmas Tree Association, for every real Christmas tree harvested, up to 3 seedlings are planted in it’s place the following spring. The seedling planting helps to ensure a healthy supply of Christmas Trees each year.
  • The average family uses an artificial Christmas Tree for six to nine years before throwing it away, where it will remain in a landfill for centuries after disposal.
  •  Farm-grown trees are biodegradable  which means they can be used or recycled for many other purposes.
  • The polyvinyl chloride (PVC) used in most artificial trees has been boycotted by environmental and health groups.
  • American Forests, a world leader in tree planting for environmental restoration, has publicly endorsed the commercial growing and use of farm-grown Christmas Trees.
If you are interested in finding a real Christmas tree, but don’t know where the nearest tree farm is, head over to The Ohio Christmas Tree Association to search for the nearest tree farm, by your zip code. Most of the real Christmas Trees are now being recycled at the end of the season in a process called “treecycling”. To learn more about recycling your Christmas Tree, visit the National Christmas Tree Association.
Happy Holidays to you and your family from the staff at Keep Akron Beautiful! Obviously, real trees top our charts this year. We hope that you will go ‘green’ this season and buy a real Christmas Tree. They may shed needles on the floor, but investing in this U.S. based product and helping to keep many local farmers in business is an ‘A’ in our book!

One thought on “Real Christmas Trees: The Environmental Choice

  1. Pingback: Norfolk Pine Houseplant: Eco-Friendly and Versatile | Keep Akron Beautiful

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

twenty + fifteen =