'Tis the time of year that many have decked their homes with Christmas trees. A few years (2008) ago I wrote a blog post on real verses artificial Christmas trees. There are pros and cons to both but the conclusion was from an environmental perspective, real Christmas trees are superior to artificial Christmas trees. All of the original points are still relevant however I decided to revisit the issue to see if anything has changed.
- Both real and artificial trees can be on the pricey side.
- Both have a cost of acquisition in terms of transporting to point of purchase then to your home.
- Pro - One of the major changes in favour of using a real Christmas tree is many communities are now offering curbside collection with the tree destined to be turned into mulch. This mulch is then available to be used in the community as well as any resident of the community. Some communities charge a small fee for the mulch while others don't charge if you bring your own containers and load the mulch yourself.
- Con - Curbside collection is costly in terms of property taxes and associated collection costs (eg. fuel, truck maintenance) even though the actual cost may not be apparent to the resident. Carbon dioxide and other emissions from the trucks used to collect the trees leave a rather large carbon footprint, contributing to air pollution and reduced air quality.
- Con - One thing not mentioned in the original post was real Christmas trees need regular watering to prevent them from drying and becoming a fire hazard. This fact hasn't changed just it wasn't discussed in the original post.
- Con - Real Christmas trees usually need to be trimmed to fit the space, to create clearance for gifts underneath and balance the tree. While this not difficult, it is messy and can be tedious.
- Con - Another thing not mentioned in the original post, real Christmas trees can introduce insects into your home.
- Pro - They do not require any maintenance during use making them ideal for those who want to decorate their home for the holidays and will be spending periods of time away from home.
- Pro - One of the biggest pros for artificial Christmas trees is the simplicity. Simply pull the tree out of storage and set it up. Some trees are all one piece so set-up is minimal, involving little more than plugging the tree in.
- Con - Storage space is required and if you think about it, the tree is in storage for a considerably longer period of time than it is in use. This is something to consider for those living in smaller homes or apartments.