We went out to Volunteer Tree Farm, just about 10 minutes from our house. You can find a local tree farm by visiting the Christmas Tree Farm Network. The whole experience was great. We ran from tree to tree to find the first-ever Rogers live Christmas tree. Alex cut it down with a hand saw and we toted it back to the barn. We even got free hot chocolate and hot apple cider!
But what about fake trees? Isn't "reuse" one of those "go-green" mantras? The National Christmas Tree Association represents real tree growers and provides a chart of the pros and cons of buying a real tree versus a fake tree. They probably aren't biased, are they?
The American Christmas Tree Association, on the other hand, represents artificial tree manufacturers and boasts that fake trees are used year after year and can save you more money the longer they last.
While artificial trees may save you some green, it's important for going green to remember that most tree farms plant one to three trees for every one that is cut, and after the holidays, they don’t end up in a landfill like artificial trees eventually do. Artificial trees are made by using fossil fuels. The plastic, when it eventually ends up in landfills, takes years to decompose. A real tree is a renewable resource and can be recycled into mulch.
The bottom line: Go for the actual tree and try to support a small-scale, local sustainable grower if you can.
More Christmas tree resources: