Natural or artificial; cut or live: these are the questions when it comes to picking a tree during the holiday season. There’s nothing like the smell of a live or cut tree in your home, but what is the best option environmentally?
Pros: Wonderful smell, traditional character. Renewable resource.
Cons: Pesticides and fungicides used if not organically grow. Often cut down using a chain saw (burns fossil fuels), transported on a truck (again, burns fossil fuels), lit up outside in the grocery store parking lot (use of electricity). May have to be transported to be chipped or composted.
Pros: Wonderful smell, traditional character, no waste, provide oxygen, renewable resource.
Cons: Pesticides and fungicides used if not organically grown, require access to a yard and green thumb
Pros: No mess, lasts for years.
Cons: Made of plastic which is produced from fossil fuel, a non-renewable resource. Mostly produced overseas, so they have a huge carbon foot print. Usually come in a lot of packaging: cardboard box, Styrofoam and/or plastic wrapping inside. Although a fake tree may last longer than a real one, it cannot be recycled at the end of its life span and will end up in a landfill.
Overall, the eco-friendly choice is a natural, living tree that will be replanted.