As the Christmas season approaches and tree lots spring up, the choice of trees seems astounding. Is it better to go with a real tree or an artificial one and what should a person look for if buying a real tree? And while the idyllic dream of snow shoeing into the woods to chop down the perfect family tree lingers in the back of some minds, there are few places left that look favourably on that kind of thing (though some areas will allow you to pick out and chop down your own tree – check local listings for how to obtain permits).
So what is a modern, ecologically conscious family to do? Well, comparing the options and making an informed decision is definitely the most aware thing to do.
Use an artificial tree:
If you have one already tucked away in the basement or storage shed that you like, this seems like a fine way to go. If you don’t have one, but desire the convenience of one, ask around and see if anyone you know has one they won’t be using or check garage sales, estate sales and thrift stores for one. You’ll save money and the re-use option is always a better ecological choice.
- The artificial tree is convenient: you won’t need to water it, thereby saving on water consumption and it won’t have needles that constantly need to be swept or vacuumed (saving energy if you’ll have to vacuum them).
- An artificial tree can be used for years and years and years with very little wear and tear (assuming it is stored properly and handled with a bit of care as it ages)
- An artificial tree is just that: artificial. It won’t provide that lovely piney scent (though this can be remedied by using an essential oil in the house to achieve a similar effect – we suggest Balsam Fir or Pine) and it won’t have the feel or energy of a real tree.
- Artificial trees are not recyclable. While they can be re-used for many years, in the end they will end up in a landfill.
- Artificial trees are manufactured with plastics and dyes – not materials that are generally made with a beneficial impact on the environment