Thursday, December 10, 2009

Buy a Real Tree

I don't really understand the appeal of artificial trees. I guess it is just a matter of convenience. Or safety. We have a fake tree at church because fire code requires it. But there is nothing like the smell of a real tree. And, they are grown locally; artificial trees grow in China. Real trees are also more environmentally friendly:
Live trees actively photosynthesize as they grow from saplings, which removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. After they have been cut and Christmas is over, they're usually chipped for mulch. As mulch, the bits of tree very slowly decompose, releasing carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. So in the end, a real Christmas tree is carbon neutral, putting the same amount of carbon dioxide back into the air as it took out (albeit much more slowly).

The tree farms that grew the trees also replant after the trees are cut.

Artificial trees, on the other hand, don't come out even in the carbon balance. Petroleum is used to make the plastics in the trees and lots of carbon dioxide-creating energy is required to make and transport them.

Because these trees just end up in landfills after a few years' use, "those greenhouse gases are lost forever," Springer said. "There's really no opportunity to recycle those."

Buy a real Christmas tree this year.

No comments: