Christmas In July the Tree Debate

Celebrating Real Trees the Gift that Keeps on Giving!

It’s Christmas in July, and I’m celebrating real trees. OK, I’m envisioning real pine trees. I’ve even lit my 🌲pine tree candle. Celebrating Christmas in July for me means binging watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Spending hours on Pinterest looking at all the fun DIY projects and starting a gift list.

Christmas in July, and why I’m celebrating real trees? I believe real trees are the gifts that keep giving back to Mother Nature, not destroying Her.

Why I Celebrate Real Christmas Trees?

Do you choose a plastic tree made in China or a Christmas tree grown on a farm in the U.S.? Here’s why a real tree has my vote. I want to keep money circulating within the states. But what I believe is even more important is keeping local farmers in business, so I choose to support local farmers. And I prefer a real Christmas tree. I’m not sold on the marketing blitz that plastic trees 🥴 are environmentally better for the planet. Let’s take a closer look!

First, I have to say I’m a huge fan of real Christmas trees. BIG SURPRISE. I know. But I adore going to a local farmer’s lot. I stop for a few moments and imagine I’m walking through a pine forest. The incredible smell of a pine forest washes over me and brings a sense of peace. I also enjoy strolling, looking for the perfectly imperfect tree. For me, getting a tree is part of the tradition of Christmas. It’s a ritual. It marks the start of the season. Yes, even for an ENTP, I can be ritualistic. It’s my (Si) opposing/inferior function having a positive impact.

And I always smile when Christmas is long gone. Sometimes, I find pine needles nestled in a dust bunny in the car, or a rug, or in some far corner of the house. It’s a reminder to be happy, at peace, and appreciate life as it should be: joyful, magical, and light-filled.

Real Christmas Trees: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

Below are some facts from the National Christmas Tree Association. Choosing an organic tree is always a wise choice since it is free of pesticides and herbicides. It is important to remember that a real tree is biodegradable no matter where it ends up. Click here for some fantastic recycling tips. And for those families who want extra fun, why not build a tree-size bird feeder?

Farm Grown Tree Facts

  • A single farmed tree absorbs more than 1 ton of CO2 throughout its lifetime. With more than 350 million real Christmas trees growing in U.S. tree farms alone, you can imagine the yearly amount of carbon sequestering associated with the trees. There are approximately 25-30 million Real Christmas Trees sold in the U.S. every year.
  • North American real Christmas trees grow in all 50 states and Canada. The top-producing states are Oregon, North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Washington.
  • Real Trees are a renewable, recyclable resource.
  • There are more than 4,000 local Christmas tree recycling programs throughout the United States.
  • For every Real Christmas Tree harvested, 1 to 3 seedlings are planted the following spring.
  • Each acre of trees produces enough oxygen for the daily needs of 18 people.
  • There are about 350,000 acres in production for growing Christmas Trees in the U.S.; YEAH — preserving green space.
  • There are close to 15,000 farms growing Christmas Trees in the U.S., and 100,000+ people are employed full or part-time in the industry.
  • It can take as many as 15 years to grow a tree of typical height (6 – 7 feet), as little as 4 on average 7 years.
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Real vs. Fake Christmas Tree Purchases

Plastic Christmas Trees

In 2017 alone, Americans purchased 21.1 million plastic trees, according to Statista. There are many reasons people buy fake Christmas trees; allergies, an easier cleanup, aka more convenient, and to be fair, not everyone is buying plastic; some buy aluminum.

I’m not convinced about the marketing hype of “plastic trees” being environmentally friendly.

What are your Plastic Trees Made Of?

The National Christmas Tree Association states 89% of plastic trees are imported from China. Typically plastic Christmas trees use a synthetic plastic called polyvinyl chloride (PVC)—which is also used in construction pipes, toys, medical devices, and car interiors.

The American Christmas Tree Association—a non-profit that educates people about Christmas trees, both real and fake—says that PVC is “not harmful” or “dangerous.” But many experts disagree. 

Do You Have Kids – Please Read This!

So you’re excited, the kids are excited everyone is gathered around the tree. The kiddies are helping with decorating, and if you have pets, they’ve joined in the festivities. Glenn Harnett, M.D. asks, “do you want a tree that uses PVC, a fire-resistant compound that may contain metals like lead, tin, or barium as stabilizers in your home?” Harnett, the Chief Medical Officer of American Family Care, the nation’s leading urgent care provider, says, “PVC also releases gases known as volatile organic compounds, which are gases that can irritate the eyes, nose, and lungs.”

So don’t let the kids or dogs, especially puppies and tiny tots nibble on the plastic tree, TOXIC! Not sure what to say about the toxic gases? Oh yeah, I do. Keep on reading. 😏

Beyond Toxic Gases

Beyond the PVC contents, artificial trees are not recyclable and non-biodegradable. Translation, they’ll sit in landfills for centuries to break down if they ever will. On average, an artificial tree will last five to seven years. While many secondhand stores don’t accept them because often time the LED lights go wonky in a year or two. So the marketing speak of them lasting up to a decade needs to be revisited.

Christmas In July: The Tree Debate Continues

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Real Spruce Pine Tree: David Pisnoy, Unsplash

In brief, I personally believe a real tree is a clear winner. Don’t know about you, but I don’t want a poisonous object as the focal point for my Christmas celebration. Yeah, I’m being a bit of a wise-ass, but honestly, the extra effort, fetching, watering, and needles dropping far outway the negative aspects of a plastic tree; toxic, not biodegradable nor are they recycle-friendly as are real trees. So if you’re pondering the issue, I hope I’ve converted you to join the “real tree” tribe – and become a Pachamama warrior! A warrior who lives life in harmony with nature.

And even if I haven’t, I hope you learned a thing or two, which is always my intention.

Merry, Merry, and Peace on Earth!

Not Celebrating Christmas in July – No Worries!

Are you still in summer mode? If so, go ahead, and check out my summer-lov’in blogs on responsibly made summer handbags – sustainable swimsuits under $100 – news on reef-safe sunscreen! Happy July

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Photo Credit: Rusty Gate Tree Farm, Harrison Idaho

Post updated 12/2022

xoxo

nina 

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