Real Christmas Trees Make For “Greener” Holidays
The holidays are here and Christmas trees are appearing in homes across the world as families prepare for the season. But in these times of economic hardship, families may be tempted to invest in an artificial tree and use it year after year, instead of purchasing the perfect, real tree to be the centerpiece of their holiday spirit. If you are considering an artificial Christmas tree this year, you may be surprised at what you may find out.
Artificial Trees = Not Environmentally-Friendly
While chopping down a real tree may not seem environmentally-friendly, it is actually the “greener” choice between artificial and real Christmas trees. Artificial trees are manufactured using a polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a petroleum-derived plastic. This raw material is both non-renewable and considered a pollutant. PVC production also results in unhealthy emissions of carcinogens, such as dioxin, ethylene dichloride, and vinyl chloride.
Artificial trees are not biodegradable, so their disposal has a significant impact on the environment. If disposed into a landfill, they will never break down and become a permanent resident. If they are incinerated, they will emit dioxins and other carcinogens into the atmosphere.
Real Christmas trees, on the other hand, can be recycled. The branches and trees can be ground into mulch and provide a protective barrier for the roots of your plants and vegetation and prevent weeds from growing. When the mulch decomposes, it provides nutrients for the protected plants.
Artificial Trees = Serious Health Risk
Manufacturers use lead and other additives in order to make the PVC needles more malleable, and have been linked to liver, kidney, neurological, and reproductive system damage in lab studies. The Children’s Health Environmental Coalition even warns that fake trees may shed lead-laced dust. If your household has small children and pets, these PVC needles are a health risk.
It is true that some artificial trees come with warning labels due to the dangerous amounts of lead they contain, but does that make it acceptable? Approximately 85 percent of the artificial trees imported by the United States are from China, a country that hasn’t had the most impeccable record lately of lead-based products.
Tips to Avoid Artificial Harm
If your household uses an artificial tree, here are three tips recommended by environmental experts to avoid harm from the lead and carcinogens:
- Keep children away from the tree and do not allow them to touch it. That sounds easy!
- If you touch the tree, wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face or handling food.
- Do not vacuum the lead dust from under and around the tree. Vacuuming can spread the dust in the air, creating an inhalation hazard.
These tips seem to put quite a damper on any family’s holiday cheer. Every home should have a real Christmas tree that livens the spirit of the season and doesn’t bring harm to any one or any thing. Here’s a real tip: invest in real Christmas trees this year and show off how “green” your family’s holiday cheer and yuletide spirit really is. ChristmasFarms.com offers a wide selection of real Christmas trees that will complement your holiday decor and spread the joy throughout the family. With ChristmasFarms.com you can avoid the hassle of finding the perfect tree in a parking lot full of firs. Shop online and get the tree delivered to your door in time for Santa Claus and your holiday guests. Invest in a real Christmas tree today, your family’s health, and the planet’s, deserve it.