We are officially 20 days away from the Christmas holiday and, of course, the environmental conversation continues. I want to address our thoughts on real Christmas trees versus artificial ones. At first thought, you would think that artificial trees dominate because they can be reused over & over, year after year, but that’s actually wrong. I know it seems daunting but real trees are recyclable… and I’ll tell you why.
A good amount of artificial Christmas trees are made of polyvinyl chloride, in a much simpler term, PVC. And yes, PVC is a plastic. Although we’re already familiar with this plastic, it’s detrimental to the environment. As soon as it has fulfilled its purpose of being your family’s Christmas tree, the tree still has a long life ahead after you’ve trashed it. PVC can only be quickly decomposed by incineration. Not to say that it cannot decompose in other natural ways, but those ways require much more time than we humans have in an average lifespan. The issue with burning polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the toxins that are emitted into the atmosphere. Dioxins are found, carcinogens are found. Both huge health concerns in manufacturing pesticides and cigarette smoking.
I know it doesn’t seem imminent because there aren’t mass piles of artificial Christmas trees everywhere you look. But when thinking sustainably, garbage simply does not exist. The environment encompasses our reality everyday in everything that we do, so everything we do must be in accordance with creating sustainability. If you haven’t put up your tree yet, consider buying a real one. Benefits include a great smelling home now & a greener earth later!
Feel free to leave questions or comments below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.