In recent years, fake Christmas trees have gained immense popularity. As this occurred, the effects of the 2008 recession were seen when tree prices shot up in 2018 due to the lack of trees planted 10 years prior (the growth period of Christmas trees is about 10 years). This made many people turn to fake Christmas trees as an option. However, this begged the question, are fake Christmas trees environmentally friendly?
With the amount of carbon emissions released during the production of fake trees and further emissions released during the shipping of fake Christmas trees, they’re not the most environmentally friendly product.
“The production of fake trees is a lot more wasteful than buying and disposing of real trees,” said Taylor Snow.
Although this may be true, real trees are not much better. Many people set bonfires after Christmas has passed with their real trees; this causes many house and forest fires in neighborhood areas. Real trees also shed and require a lot of maintenance that fake trees do not need.
“There’s conveniences with fake Christmas trees that you don’t get with a real tree. They have built in lights and do not shed,” said Matthew Menendez.
Real trees do, however, tend to give off more of a holiday vibe than fake trees. The actual process of picking a tree, along with the smell that is always in a person’s home through December, makes people think that Santa may actually show up this year. People with fake trees still go through similar processes though, buying Christmas tree scents and hanging ornaments and garland on the tree.
“With fake trees, it’s not as sentimental and meaningful as with a real tree. You miss out on the tradition that comes with a real tree,” said Ava Combs.
Because fake Christmas trees are reusable and can be stored away until the next December, many people prefer the fake trees. Being able to spend a little more money one year to save hundreds are dollars in the next five to 10 years can make a big difference in people’s lives.
Fake trees save people money, and even through the environmental impacts, are overall better than real trees. Most fake trees are fire resistant and can protect the owner from a nasty house fire that accompanies owners of real Christmas trees. The technology used to cut down and transport real trees outweigh the negative impacts of fake trees.
Fake trees and real trees have many pros and cons, but in reality, both work for different types of families. Environmentally speaking though, fake Christmas trees are considered better due to the amount of time spent between purchases and the fact that no burning is required in the disposal of the fake tree.
“I don’t really think one tree is better than the other, it more depends on what you do with it. If you only keep a fake tree for a few years, then it isn’t better than a real tree; but if you keep a fake tree for many years, than it is better than a real tree,” said Elena Melikian.
When the staff came together to discuss the environmental impacts of Christmas trees, four of six decided that fake Christmas trees are better for the environment. Only two of six remained on the side of real Christmas trees.
Vote: 4/6 for fake trees
Taylor Snow // Editor-in-Chief