Friday, 7 December 2012

A Real or An Artificial Tree- Which One is Greener?


Every holiday season when I lug out my boxed-up artificial Christmas tree, I wonder about the the 'great debate' (well, at least it is a Great Debate in MY head)- which one is truly 'Greener'- a real tree or an artificial one?
And every year I try to convince myself that my artificial tree is indeed the greener choice. I did not kill a real live tree to get it. I am reusing my tree every Christmas season. That is not only GREEN, but thrifty, yes? I am not driving to a tree farm (and thus polluting the earth) to then cut one of those dear sweet innocent trees down...friends, these are true conversations that go on in my head every year....
I recently saw a link to an article on EcoSuperior's facebook page on this very subject. I couldn't wait to read it and find out if I was making the right call or if I was actually living a lie as a HUGE
The article  that was featured is on David Suzuki's website and it's findings are not at all what I expected. This is what the article says:
"The research team at Ellipsos has provided a definitive answer. In its study, the real tree emerges victorious!
According to Ellipsos, the artificial tree has three times more impacts on climate change and resource depletion than the natural tree. That's assuming your artificial tree lasts six years. If your tree will last more than 20 years and if you'd have to drive a long way to buy a real tree, the opposite becomes true."
Interesting. BUT, instead of being discouraged by these findings, I am now more vigilent to take care of the tree that I have. Now I MUST keep this tree for at LEAST 20 years. That's only 12 more years anyway...I take this a personal challenge...

In case anyone is interested, the article has also added some tips- whether you choose a real or artificial tree this holiday season:
 Real Christmas Trees
Buy locally
Choose trees from farms that minimize (or do without) pesticides and herbicides.
Cut your own with a provincial permit, from lands that must be kept clear anyway. In many provinces, hydro right-of-ways have to be kept clear. This is a win-win way to meet that mandate.
And for Artificial Christmas Trees
Avoid PVCs — the grinchiest of plastics — that most artificial trees are made of. Not only are these hard on the environment, they're bad for your health.
Make it last 20 years!
I'm not sure if this changes anyone's mind out there, or if anyone else wonders about these things, but I hope this helps!
The article also talks about living Christmas trees (which are unfortunately sold out for the year). These are a fabulously GREEN option, as well. Not for me, though. I have at least 12 more years with my beauty... 
Christmas Blessings, friends!

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