Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree, are you Real? or Fake this Year?

Our lovely Christmas tree all done up!
This year we decided to buy a real tree.  Now, I wasn't too keen on the idea and I definitely thought it wasn't a very "green" option.  But sometimes, once in a while, Christmas just needs to feel like Christmas I think. And besides that, Mike loves Christmas about as much as I love Halloween and so I thought I would compromise and go with a real evergreen.

However, if you are thinking about skipping the real thing or even the traditional for that matter, here are a few very inventive, very eco-friendly tree ideas:

My Modern Met
I have seen this done using only green books but I love this colourful option.  Create your own book tree.

Designs that Inspire to Create Your Perfect Home
A tree built with love and  plywood scraps.

No time time for measuring, sawing or constructing, try a ladder tree.

Apartment Therapy
Now this is a very cool "tree"display. Very creative but I imagine it would have taken a lot of patience to put together.

A Collective of Vintage Teaspoons
Save those green bottles for the holidays and build your own Christmas tree with recyclables

Christmas can still be grand even on a small scale ...

Love this sweet fabric and wood tree.

Diggers List Blog
Recycled newspaper Christmas tree.

Natural Modern Interiors

 A driftwood tree, made from gathered pieces of wood.

So, are real trees for Christmas really that bad?

I did my research and found some interesting pros and cons to help you decide - real vs. fake?

Real tree Pros:

  • real trees, being natural, will decompose naturally and used as mulch for Spring/Summer growing
  • the beauty, fragrance and festive quality of a real tree just can't be replaced 
  • they provide oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide removing pollutants from the air (this could be seen as a con when they are removed from their environment but up until the time they are removed, this is a pro!)
  • some Christmas tree farms are placed in areas that would otherwise be unusable
  • when harvesting these trees, each one cut down must be replaced by another, planting new trees every year
  • tree population is not reduced due to Christmas tree farming; but instead is maintained

Real tree Cons:
  • these trees provide food, shelter and homes to animals so we would be taking that away
  • they reduce soil erosion and surface runoff
  • some are grown with harmful pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers
  • some Christmas tree farms use land that could possibly be better used

 Fake tree Pros:
  • need only to be purchased once and can be reused every year
  • fake trees have come a long way since the 50's, they can look better and less artificial today
  • No messy cleanup
  • You save money over time

Fake Tree Cons:

  •  they don't really last forever and will eventually end up in landfills
  • most are manufactured using a polyvinyl chloride (or PVC), which is a petroleum-derived plastic
  • they are non-renewable and polluting
  • some artificial trees actually come with warning labels due to their lead content

What do you think? Real or fake, and why?
Please leave a comment, would love to hear your thoughts!


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