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the 'green' dilema: fake or real tree

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 
Ok, it's that time of season again! Which to use...a real tree...a fake tree...no tree... we have an almost 35 year old fake tree that has been in the family (and looks like it's about dead) and who knows what it was made out of (like, is there lead in the paint?!?!? fire proofing chemicals? and about 35 years of dust!) so I'm thinking this year we upgrade...but to what? Last year "santa" left two small evergreens that we decorated outside and then planted...and they died (the tags didn't mention that the trees were not for outdoor use, only indoor..) so santa didn't do it right last year...and DH wants to get a new fake tree, but I'm not sure if that's really all that 'green'...then again, chopping down a live tree isn't 'green' either! But to do without is not something that DH wants for the DC...sooooo....what to do?

anyone found maybe a fake tree that is made from recycled materials? something that isn't toxic? or is a live tree farm ok to use??? I'm not sure what to do, and times a tickin'!!!
post #2 of 80
After reading that a lot of fake trees make shed lead, I'm getting a real one this year!

But! I know you buy USA made lead free trees online. But they are pricey and I don't have the monies.
post #3 of 80
There was just a thing on CNN recently about faux wreaths having lead in the paint. No way would I buy another fake tree knowing that!

Besides, any fake tree you buy is bound to wind up in a landfill eventually. So it's greener to buy from a tree farm, where they replenish what is cut down each year, or to buy a live tree and then plant it. Live trees need a lot of special care though, so we just go the tree farm route.
post #4 of 80
buy a rosemary tree then plant it outside after the holidays.
post #5 of 80
While we personally have a fake tree (got it off ebay, DD & I both have allergies & asthma w/the real ones) recent articles have suggested that real trees are much "greener".

They produce oxygen, they are grown specifically for that purpose (unless you're taking them from the woods), they aren't made of harmful chemicals. The *best* solution, IMO, would be to get a real tree w/the root ball still attached and plant it after using it, but it might be hard to do so.
post #6 of 80
in canada anyway you can buy real trees at the grocery store and they all come from christmas tree farms.
post #7 of 80
Hey, prettypixels! I'm in Wheeling. Just noticed you were in Morgantown.

Totally OT, sorry.
post #8 of 80
We do real trees.

Manufacturing fake trees is pretty toxic, and we get our trees from tree farms, where they replant. Heck, if they're successful, they plant MORE trees!

I think it balances out in favor of green, using a real tree. It lives in the earth for a time, taking in carbon dioxide and emitting oxygen. After the holidays, we compost and/or burn it, so it either feeds the earth, or creates a small carbon load, which isn't great but keeps us warm and cooks us some food. If we got a fake tree, we'd only be taking from the earth, with no giving back. No new trees planted, no oxygen created, definitely some pollution made. . . .
post #9 of 80
I'd go real, if I didn't get bad allergies from the pine.
post #10 of 80
i've been reading up on this recently. there is no "green" fake tree, as far as i can tell. i found one online that was "mostly" pvc (and lead) free, except for a small portion, and it was only $705.00.

there is no way i would cut down a real tree for it to decompose in my home.

for the last two years we've gotten potted trees. i guess we are doing that again this year. i really wanted to talk myself into getting a big real tree but i really just don't think it's ok.
post #11 of 80
If you're not allergic, I would definitely buy real. The greenest option would buy a tree with a root ball in burlap, and then plant it, but you can only bring them inside for a short time, and they might not make it anyway. If you don't want that trouble, buy a cut tree. The state I live in (NC) is one of the largest producers of xmas trees, and it is generally a small family farm type of industry. People in western NC plan trees as a retirement investment.. when the trees mature, they cut and sell. Most farms continually replant, so even though we're taking a lot of trees down, new ones are constantly replanted. And when you're finished with your tree, you can lay it bare in your yard as a habitat for small animals and birds, or have it ground into mulch.
post #12 of 80
I've never understood why people think having a real tree isn't environmentally friendly. It's not as if they go and chop the trees down from old-growth forests - they grow them on farms. In rows. Like carrots. Or roses. So, if you think buying veggies and flowers is bad, then I guess it makes sense. Otherwise, I don't get it.

And I LOOOVE the smell of a real tree. If I had to get a fake one, it would have to be one of those ridiculous fiber optic trees or something, so I wouldn't feel cheated.
post #13 of 80
We always get a real tree, I love the smell of it and we enjoy picking it out every year!
post #14 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Laggie View Post
I've never understood why people think having a real tree isn't environmentally friendly.
OT...
I think it's just like anything - we've been born into this "gotta have it, buy buy buy, natural is bad, money is good, chemicals are great" environment that we have to really go against the tide and think for ourselves (after much reading, research and deliberation) so that we can find that the old natural ways of doing things were in fact the BEST way...but who would make money if we did things the old fashioned back to basics way?!?!?!....like my Mother said, "Breastfeeding would be popular and everyone would do it if someone could find a way to make tons of money by breastfeeding...until then, formula makes megga bucks for lots of people..."
post #15 of 80
Thread Starter 
Ok, it's not such a dilemma after all! I'm going for a real tree...I just grew up with the fake that I never thought to go the other way...I'll give our old one to someone who wants it and well do the farm thing...:
post #16 of 80
We'll get a real tree. Fortunately, our city collects Christmas trees after the holidays and they are recycled into (very inexpensive) mulch for purchase by residents!
post #17 of 80
We do a real tree and then give it back to the earth and animals outside by putting bird food "ornaments" on it until it gets weather beaten and broken. Then we break it up a bit and put it in the yard waste bin outside.
post #18 of 80
When I was little we used to go and grab and already dead tree, or big large branch. We would decorate it, and painted or do whatever. I think it was a good idea, but we have a fake now. Probably when the lo is older we get to do the branch decoration again.
post #19 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by UnschoolnMa View Post
We do a real tree and then give it back to the earth and animals outside by putting bird food "ornaments" on it until it gets weather beaten and broken. Then we break it up a bit and put it in the yard waste bin outside.
I love that idea!
post #20 of 80
Never even thought about all the chemicals and other bad stuff in fake trees.
Just never considered buying one.

We've always been a real tree family. Love the smell. It's already been cut down, from a farm that supports a family business, so we buy it and enjoy it. Then we put it at the edge of the yard and the kids decorate it with popcorn/cranberry strings for the birds and other animals. They also dip pinecones in peanut butter and roll them in bird seed. At the very end, when it's all orange and icky, we throw it deep into the woods.
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