The holidays are here and it’s time to string the lights, hang up the wreaths and decorate the tree. But have you considered an environmentally friendly holiday tree this year? It’s an easy thing to do this year while you make your home merry and bright.
Like many households you probably debate which is more eco-friendly: a real tree grown for the sole purpose of being cut down, or an artificial tree made from metal and plastic. On one hand artificial trees last for years but most are made from a known carcinogen, polyvinyl chloride which is also one of the most environmentally damaging types of petroleum-derived plastics. Lead is often added as a stabilizer which can cause lead dust to flake off the tree branches onto the holiday presents and even your kids and pets. Plus a plastic tree isn’t bio-degradable and therefore is almost impossible to recycle. And since the majority of artificial trees are manufactured in China you have to figure in the carbon footprint of having the tree shipped overseas to the United States.
Real trees are crop grown just like many of the fruits and vegetables we consume. And just like the farmers growing corn and peaches, holiday tree farmers are running a business whose workers financially support the local economy. An uncut tree provides a natural wildlife habitat for birds, rabbits, squirrels and more. And since the soil surrounding the tree can absorb around 10 times the amount of carbon a growing tree produces, a live holiday tree works as its own natural carbon footprint reducer. Finally purchasing from a local tree farm completely removes long distance transportation carbon emissions. Then when the New Year rolls around you can easily recycle your tree through your local city garbage pickup service, recycling center or county dump. Many of these services then turn holiday trees into mulch which is offered back at no charge to local residents.
The Bottom Line
Sure, you can use an artificial tree for years to come, making it more cost effective than buying a tree every year. But eventually that plastic tree will have to be disposed of and most end up in a landfill since they can’t be recycled. Live trees can easily be recycled and turned into mulch, creating a sustainable circle. So while a real tree is definitely the smart choice there is one other option: purchase a Norfolk Island pine with the root ball intact. Use it as your environmentally friendly holiday tree. After you have removed the ornaments and lights you have an easy to care for beautiful house plant for years to come. And then next holiday season just decorate it again!
Out on a Limb Tree Service would like to wish all our clients, past, present and future a very merry and happy holiday season and we look forward to earning your business in 2021. To schedule a consultation, or for additional information, please connect with us online or call 864-320-8787.