MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For a lot of us, the choice is easy: we’re real tree or fake tree people.
Still, about 30 million of us will buy a real Christmas tree this year, according to trade associations. So, which is better for the environment: real or fake?
Although the fake tree trade group says both kinds of trees are green, the real tree Association says real trees are better for the earth.
Both can’t be correct, so two years ago, independent scientists prepared an exhaustive report on the question.
They found that when it comes to carbon footprint and impact on natural resources, it’s not even close. The real tree is better.
It takes a lot of energy and materials to create the plastic and the steel that make up fake trees. Plus, most of them are made in China — not like Dan Swan’s trees, which are grown not far from the Twin Cities.
Even though you buy a new tree every year, your old tree does get ground up and used for bio fuel.
The tree growers say they get a lot of questions on this, but it’s hard to argue that cutting down 30 million trees every year that were specifically grown to be cut down is an environmental problem.
Well-made fake trees are fine, too. However, the bigger issue is that fake trees on average last about 6 years. And most cities don’t take the PVC plastic at recycling plants. So they go right into landfills.