Front Porch Blog

How to Have A Truly Green Christmas Tree

Swedish researchers have done an energy comparison between real and artificial Christmas trees. Comparing a locally grown live cut-tree to a full size plastic tree, they found that the real tree used about a fifth of the energy (assuming that the plastic tree would be used for ten years). The problem is compounded when considering that most artificial trees are made from environmentally toxic PVC. Christmas tree farmers tout the fact that their trees can grow very well on soils that are inhospitable to other crops. A single acre of Christmas trees produces enough oxygen to support 18 people, while absorbing CO2. For those who are buying cut-trees this year, here are some tips:

1- Try to find trees grown by farms that are organic or use low levels of pesticides. Most tree farms use a gamut of pesticides that can cause everything from skin reactions for the consumer to cancer for a farm worker.
2- Buy a locally grown tree. Oregon and North Carolina grow nearly half of the nation’s Christmas trees. Many trees shipped from state to state must be sprayed with additional pesticides.
3- If possible, look to buy a species of tree that is native to your area. Tree farms typically don’t need to apply as many pesticides to a tree that is native.

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes www.southernsustainableforests.org

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