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Chesapeake News and Events

Is it 'Green' To Cut Down a Christmas Tree?

Tis’ the season for a yuletide debate: Should you buy a real or fake Christmas tree? Which is greener from an environmental standpoint?  On one hand, artificial trees can be re-used year after year.  But on the other hand, most are molded from plastics that do not biodegrade. Moreover, most people who buy real Christmas trees buy them from tree farms, which re-plant trees every year, so forests are not being harmed by cutting them down.

Supporting tree farms supports local agriculture, which is good for the local economy and discourages suburban sprawl. And natural trees themselves absorb carbon dioxide pollution from the atmosphere, and filter and clean the water with their roots.

(It goes without saying, of course, that it would be a terrible idea to march into your local state park or neighbor's yard and chainsaw down a tree that is growing wild.  But nobody I know does this, so I'm going to leave that as an option only for the grinch.) 

Check out this video from the Nature Conservancy that lays out the pros and cons of real vs. fake trees.

By Tom Pelton

Chesapeake Bay Foundation





















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