Now that I have your attention, The Great Christmas Debate – Real or Fake comes up every year. Trees. Real or Fake trees!! I know what you were thinking 😉
There are so many sides to this debate and I am not sure if there is even a right answer. But here are a few facts that I have found. You can make your choice for whatever works for your home at Christmas.
Is it bad for the environment to cut down trees?
Surprisingly, NO. Contrary to what we know about cutting down trees, Christmas trees are grown and farmed strictly for the purpose of Christmas. For the approximate the 10 years it takes to grow a tree to be about 6ft tall, the tree provides clean air and a habitat for wildlife. Once the tree has been cut down, another one or 2 are always re-planted. Trees are biodegradable and are taken back into the soil for nutrients. The best real tree is bought or sourced locally and recycled afterwords. And you can’t beat the evergreen smell of a real tree that fills your home during the holidays.
Check out your local city recycling program to see if they recycle trees. The City of Calgary tree composting program turns our trees in a nutrient rich compost that can be used by homes in and around evergreens in our yards. The compost is also helpful for water retention and weed control.
Artificial or fake trees are better the for environment.
This is a debate within itself. Artificial trees are produced in China and made up of PVC plastic and steel. Of which after a suggested life span of 9 years, will most likely end up in a landfill. Although there are claims that this is actually better for the environment based on the energy and water used for maintaining a tree farm. Artificial trees are a one time purchase that will last 9 years rather then spending every year or a tree.
And if you are looking for a no mess and no maintenance, then an artificial tree might be your thing. Or maybe there are allergies in your home that stop you from having a live tree during the holidays.
I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer to The Great Christmas Debate – Real or Fake. It really just depends on what is best for your home and what works for you.
We are a real tree household and our tradition every year since the kids were young, would be to go out on a snowy night’s eve at the beginning of December and wander the tree lot looking for just the right one. My husband and I would look at trees and the kids would run around amongst the trees playing hide and seek, laughing and giggling. Now that the kids are older, we still go out together and look for a tree, they may not run and play amongst the trees anymore but we still have our laughs and giggles.
Some more reading on family traditions for the holidays: