While not political in nature, the debate of whether to buy a real Christmas tree or an artificial tree is often a highly contentious discussion in American households. Many families may not understand all the pros and cons when it comes to affordability, environmental impact and ease of care of their tree.
Here’s the “real” scoop: A real Christmas tree is not only a more sustainable “green” option, but it is also an easy and affordable way to bring the tradition and nostalgia of the holidays into the home. Other reasons a real Christmas tree is the right choice include:
•Supports U.S. farmers and our national economy: Purchasing a real Christmas tree supports the thousands of U.S.–based farmers, helps keep people employed and helps support the U.S. economy.
•The value of a real Christmas tree: Growers produce a number of sizes and varieties of trees to fit any budget, which gives families an economical way to celebrate the holidays. Smaller tabletop-size trees are an affordable way for apartment dwellers, children’s rooms or older adults to still have that natural Christmas tree smell in their homes.
•The environmental benefits of purchasing a real Christmas tree: Real Christmas trees are recyclable, sustainable and renewable, meaning a better environment for future generations. Furthermore, while they grow, real Christmas trees reduce carbon emissions by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, which people, plants and the environment need to survive.
• Trees are grown and harvested on sustainable farms: They’re grown just like produce and other crops, and growers plant at least one or more trees to replace every tree they harvest.
• Ease of care: While traditions may take years to develop, memories are easily created at any time. The ease of a real Christmas tree — purchase, set-up and care — can easily fit into busy schedules to create lasting Christmas memories.
• The smell!: The irreplaceable smell of a fresh Christmas tree often signals the arrival of the holiday season in the home. The beautiful fir tree fragrance creates a sensory experience that the holidays wouldn’t be complete without.
“We want Americans to understand that a real Christmas tree is the right choice and that they can feel good about their money going toward a natural, earth-friendly product that helps support fellow Americans,” said Bryan Ostlund, executive director of the Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association.
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The Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association, established in 1955, has a membership of more than 1,000 farms throughout Oregon and Washington. The association promotes the production of high-quality, marketable trees, ensures environmental stewardship among members, and through voluntary member contributions, helps educate the public on aspects of the industry.