Each holiday season, there are news articles, web sites and commentators who debate whether it is better for the environment to use an artificial christmas tree or a natural christmas tree. This can often be confusing to consumers who want to make an eco-friendly choice, but can’t find a simple, straight-forward “apples to apples” comparison. The table below illustrates that Real Christmas Trees are the best environmental choice.

Real Tree

Fake Tree

Place Of Origin United States – Creating over 100,000 US Jobs 85% from China
Method of Production Farming Factory
Planting January – May Raw materials sent to factory & assembled into final product
Estimate 40 – 45 Million Trees planted in 2008 in North America Product is shipped to US then Distributed to Stores
Estimated 446 Million trees growing on Farms in US Number of factories unknown
Tree farms support Complex Eco-System Factories only consume natural resource
Components Plant Tissue Plastic and Metal
100% Biodegradable Non-biodegradable
Lead Free? Yes No (lead is used in the process of making PVC Plastics)
When decomposing, carbon, nitrogen and other elements are released into the soil Doesn’t break down
Chemicals No Yes
Scientist have measured cut Christmas trees for chemical residue and not found any significant amounts PVC itself is a dangerous chemical.
Disposal Recycled Landfill
Used trees can be recycled in a variety of ways Fake trees can’t be recycled and end up in Landfills
Decomposing trees add nutrients back into the earth All of the accumulated fake trees are a burden to the environment indefinitely
Renewable Resource Yes No
New trees are planted every year Petroleum, used to make plastic, is a non-renewable resource, as are metals
Eco-Friendly Yes No