I’ve lived long enough to have watched the environmental community do an about face on the subject of real Christmas trees. A couple decades ago, I recall feeling guilty for the waste of cutting down a Christmas tree that would die at holiday’s end, when I could have bought a plastic poser that lasted some 10 dusty Christmases. It seemed as simple as planned obsolescence for the holidays. How naive we all were then. Did we even know what a carbon footprint was? As the years have rolled by, we’ve all learned a lot—about carbon footprints, shopping local and the dangers of things like pvc and lead that we were so ignorant of before.
I, for one, am grateful that the issue is cleared up. I’d sacrifice a lot for the environment, but heading out to chop a live tree down on a snowy day, or even to pick one out at a neighborhood lot, is a tradition I never want to go without. Thanks to both the National Christmas Tree Association and the Michigan Christmas Tree Association for help with the below lists.
10 Reasons to Buy a Real Christmas Tree for the Nothern Michigan Holidays
- The wholesale Christmas tree business is worth $40 million to Michigan’s economy.
- The live Christmas tree business supports 700 growers—a number that doesn’t even count their employees who depend on seasonal work such as pruning and cutting.
- We all know that trees help purify the air. Christmas trees are no exception: every acre of Christmas trees create enough oxygen for 18 people.
- Christmas tree farms provide wildlife habitat.
- Michigan grows more varieties than any other state – so take your pick.
- Real Christmas trees are a renewable resource.
- Real Christmas trees are biodegradable.
- Real Christmas tress can be repurposed for mulch and fuel.
- The experience: Gathering up family and friends to head to an outdoor Christmas tree lot or a Christmas tree farm vs. a trip to a big box store.
- Real Christmas trees smell fantastic.
10 Reasons Not to Purchase an Artificial Tree
- The fuel it takes to ship them all the way from China.
- The working conditions for the people making those trees in Asia is, shall we say, hardly festive.
- Taking the business overseas takes business away from the Michigan economy.
- Artificial trees aren’t biodegradable and clog up landfills for who knows how many eons.
- Artificial trees can contain lead, pvc and other chemicals that are bad for the environment and may be bad for your children.
- Artifical trees can’t be repurposed … at least I can’t think of a way.
- If they smell at all, artificial trees don’t smell good. And if they do, you’d probably best be suspicious about why plastic is smelling like evergreen.
- While they don’t catch fire as easily as a live Christmas tree, artificial tress can burn. And when they do, be ready for toxins to be released into the air.
- You have to store artificial trees all year.
- Artificial trees are a big initial investment.