Close up artificial green Christmas trees for sale

Real or Fake? Which Tree Is Better for the Environment?

We all have our preference!

November 15, 2019

This debate seems to come up every single year. Which Christmas tree is better, a real or artificial one? We each have our preference.

If you're looking to be more Eco-friendly this Holiday season you may be surprised by the findings of a new study on real vs. artificial trees. My thought is that artificial trees would be better for the environment because it means we aren't cutting down another tree. But I am wrong. 

How are real trees actually a better environmental choice? According to botanist Clint Springer, it all relates to a real tree's carbon footprint. These Christmas trees are grown on farms that employ people to care for them. Buying real trees helps the local economy. And these trees are being planted to become Christmas trees that will just be cut down anyway. Hmmm, I guess I never thought of it that way. 

If you still prefer a fake tree you'll have to keep it around for twenty years if you want to make an environmentally conscious decision. But let's be honest, a fake tree starts to look like garbage after a few years. “I know American consumers,” Springer says, “we don’t keep much for 10 years anymore.” 

And fake trees are made of "polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which often uses lead as a stabilizer." These aren't the kinds of things you really want to be bringing into your home. 

If you want to have a real Eco-Friendly Christmas this year, you can get a real tree with the root stump still included. Why would you do that? So you can replant it after the Holiday is over. 

I had no idea this was even something you could do.