Will The Best Tree Please Stand Up?
During this season, so many of us -participate in the selling and -purchasing of Christmas trees.
For me, it becomes a choice of purchasing a real tree or a "faux" tree. I have -concluded there are pros and cons between choosing a Christmas tree that can be an environmental selection or a marketing slope.
Sometimes the choice between real and fake is especially painful.
For me, there is nothing more enticing than the aroma of pine, which is what I consider nature brought inside my home. On the flip side, it is easy to purchase an already decorated fake tree, creating less hassle.
But prior to my choice, I studied up on the -environmental aspect and found some interesting facts. Soil is invaded each time a tree is chopped down. The same group of people who came up with that fact maintains that fake trees create a clogging polyvinyl -chloride trap that is totally opposite of -sustaining the "green" world.
Spraying a tree with pesticides, then -chopping it down for a couple weeks of -display isn't a great option - nor is having a dead tree in the middle of the house.
Most Christmas trees are farmed as an agricultural product. It would be preferable to get an organic one, if possible. The Sierra Club suggests, "For a natural look, try -making your own tree of trimmed -evergreen boughs, a storm-felled branch, or a piece of driftwood."
The Department of Environment began a program for those people who did not want to string lights on driftwood. In California, the city of San Francisco will bring a live nine-foot potted tree to your home for you to decorate.
After Christmas, the city will retrieve it and plant it in one of the city's tree-starved neighborhoods.
The popular Tree and Trim Corporation points out that it has been making -artificial trees for 40 years with American workers employed in New Jersey.
"We're really on the same side as the tree farmers," says a spokesman, "in terms of not wanting to see American jobs overseas."
The artificial tree buildings boast -yearly celebrity endorsers to counter the tree farmer. Even the Travel Channel recently favored artificial trees with a profile on "Made in America."
The question comes to mind whether fake trees generally end up in landfills after 10 years of use. Some can become heirlooms, while others become trash. Artificial endorsers maintain that fake trees do not have to be cut down.
Some say pines don't make the best trees. Instead, try hanging tinsel on a primrose, or a fruitless olive tree. Deciding between real and fake trees wasn't always an environmental issue. The decision used to be more about cleaning up pine needles.
But several years ago, tree growers began to notice that artificial trees were gaining in the market. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, -purchases of real trees declined from 32 million to 23.5 million in less than two years.
Although fake trees can be reused every year and do not generate the waste of real trees, they are made with PVC, one of the most environmentally -offensive forms of nonrenewable, -petroleum-based plastic.
Additionally, fake trees contain other additives designed to make the otherwise rigid PVC more malleable. Several known carcinogens, including dioxin, ethylene dichloride and vinyl chloride, are generated during the production of PVC, polluting neighborhoods.
After reading some of these facts, I am going to stick with environmentalists, at least from a health standpoint, this year and purchase a real tree. I'd rather sweep away pine needles than invisible pollutants.
With a choice to be made, every family must weigh both sides of the story.
Contact Anita Stone at writer7136 @yahoo.com.
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