I got into a discussion the other day with someone who admitted that they use an artifical tree for Christmas. I must admit that they are the majority of households in the USA at present, but not the majority in the northeast where Christmas trees are still reasonably priced. There are several good reasons why some folks,for health or other reasons, can not have real trees in their home.
The story is not unusual except that this person was defending the artificial tree as a better answer for the planet. I had to differ here. We plant twice as many trees as we harvest and they all consume carbon dioxide and give off oxygen thus combating global warming. A natural tree has natural fragrances which naturally enhance your home’s smell rather than artificial scents that may or may not be healthful. Christmas trees are a crop which supports local agriculture and preserves open spaces in the countryside. Christmas trees are biodegradable and do not end up in landfills like artificial trees.
Another misconception is that the real tree is a fire hazard. A watered tree does not spontaneously burn or even support a fire any more than an artificial tree does. If you have ever started a campfire you will remember that green or live twigs do not burn well enough to start that fire. Remember also, plastic trees are made from petroleum which burns quite nicely! Additionally, the fumes from burning plastics can contain dioxins and other gases that are poisonous beyond the danger from heat and flames.
To reduce the “mess” from real trees consider these tips. Have your tree wrapped at the tree lot so that it is easy to get into the house. Leave the tree wrapped until it is standing in the stand and then cut off the netting with a scissors or knife. Use a tree bag for removal. Open up the tree bag before you put up the tree. Drop the open bag open end up on the floor directly under the tree. Put the tree up over it and then when you are ready to take the tree out of the house simply pull the bag up over the tree and remove the tree bag and all in one piece. All the stray needles end up in the bag to reduce any cleanup.