When it comes to Christmas decorations and traditions, nothings stands out more boldly and universally than the lovely Christmas tree. A tradition that has been around forever, it is the focal point of every festive season celebration. Well, unless you have been inspired by festivus, it goes unsaid that the shiny tinsel and the beautiful green are an absolute must to complete your joyous celebrations. And while recent times have seen an eco-conscious revolution among consumers, the Christmas tree is one thing that seems to be largely unaffected by the trend.
Artificial or Real?
But artificial Christmas trees are now a real and serious alternative to natural Christmas trees. And picking between the two is not as simple and straightforward as you would imagine. Both natural and artificial Christmas trees have their own list of pros and cons. Both types of trees also have a strong industry behind them that vehemently professes that their own version is the best. Yet, like in the case of every other choice, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. Many factors including the comfort, aesthetics, safety and eco-friendliness play a significant role in making this essential choice.
Before discussing the artificial alternatives, here are a few essential facts about natural Christmas trees. There are basically two varieties of natural Christmas trees – living and cut. The latter is more common. Cut trees do not cause any impact on the environment as they are specifically grown for this purpose. They usually come from sustainable and organic farming methods, and are biodegradable after use. Also, as these trees are produced within the country, buying them will help your local economy.
Living trees are the ones that can be replanted after their use during the holiday season. But honest reality is that majority of them will not make it back to replanting after the hectic Christmas schedule that s followed by the New Year frenzy.
A Planet-Friendly Alternative
That does not in any way mean that natural Christmas trees are definitively the best option around. Artificial Christmas trees have their own perks too. One main virtue is that they can be reused of number of times before being replaced. This does make them a touch more economically viable than buying a natural Christmas tree each year. You need not also worry about cleaning up under the tree once every two days and watering it. Available in custom sizes and shapes they are flexible to carry around and can be stored with ease.
But do not jump to the conclusion that buying an artificial Christmas tree means saving the planet. The plastic material used to make these trees is often non- biodegradable and ends up as toxic waste in the dumps. Shipping them from China or another country also leave a carbon footprint that can otherwise be avoided. And there are many out there who strongly detest the aesthetics of a plastic Christmas tree and say that it is nowhere as magical as a real one!
At the end of the day, the choice is a very personal one. Do not buy into propaganda that natural trees make you more allergic or that artificial trees have poisonous levels of lead that hurt children. Often it is just one Christmas tree market trying to outdo the other and attract consumers! The best option around currently is to buy a Christmas tree that is cut, as it is specifically grown for the festive season demand.
A wonderful alternative is to bring home a potted Christmas tree and let it grow each year before moving it into the backyard once it gets too big. That truly will make your Christmas far more green and memorable even while giving you a great companion that will share your festive season memories for a lifetime!
So, which way are you swinging this year?