BY SABRINA WONG
A living room is dimly lit by a crackling fire. One closes their eyes and takes in a whiff to inhale the Christmas spirit. When the holiday air hits their nose, they become disappointed because all they can seem to smell is… plastic? It’s upsetting to both their nose and the environment.
Millions of artificial Christmas trees are sold each winter season, bought because consumers are fooled by their supposed superiority to authentic Christmas trees. However, is this really worth sacrificing a freshly cut real tree?
There is a misconception that chopping trees down is always detrimental to the environment. But this notion is actually incorrect. According to The New York Times, Christmas trees are simply just crops grown on farms– produced the same exact way that products such as lettuce and corn are.
“I always look forward to the winter season because it indicates that it’s almost time for me to go tree shopping,” freshman Emma Ruotolo said.
“They are not cut down from wild forests on a large scale,” expert in Christmas tree production and forestry at Michigan State University Bert Cregg said in an article by the New York Times.
As stated in the article, “A 5- or 6-foot tree takes just under a decade to grow, and once it’s cut down, the farmer will generally plant at least one in its place. The trees provide many benefits to the environment as they grow, cleaning the air and providing watersheds and habitats for wildlife.”
Real trees are also biodegradable, meaning that they are able to be broken down by bacteria or other living organisms, unlike plastic trees which are not. When products are biodegradable, they are environmentally friendly and won’t occupy space in landfills for hundreds of years.
One of the best parts about purchasing an authentic tree is the experience of picking one out that someone finds to be the perfect fit for one’s family and home. Each year, families are given the opportunity to spend quality time with each other by doing this.
“I always look forward to the winter season because it indicates that it’s almost time for me to go tree shopping,” freshman Emma Ruotolo said. “I buy my tree from the stand here at CCHS every year, and it’s always an enjoyable experience finding the one that I like the most.”
Although it may not seem like a huge deal, the scent of a real tree compared to a fake one really does make a difference. While synthetic Christmas trees fill homes with the aroma of plastic, authentic ones fill the air with a refreshing, sharp and sweet smell.
Artificial Christmas trees can’t compare to authentic evergreens.
“When I walk into my house, the first thing that I notice is the scent that my Christmas tree radiates,” junior Taylor Goggins said. “I feel like a fake tree wouldn’t give me the same amount of Christmas spirit that a real one provides.”
On the contrary, people may complain that authentic trees are too much work. They shed needles on the floor and need to be watered daily, which are added stressors to the holiday season. They argue that maintaining a real tree and making sure that it stays healthy may be too difficult for them to manage.
However, having an artificial tree means that storage space in the house must be available. Since Christmas trees are normally only on display during December, it must be put away for the other 11 months. The space used to hold the fake tree for the remainder of the year could be used to store something else if a real tree was bought. Since real trees must be recycled after the holiday, they don’t need a place to stay after Christmas.
Artificial Christmas trees can’t compare to authentic evergreens. From actually benefiting the environment, being an outlet to spend more time with loved ones and the lovely scent they give off, real trees far outdo the pros of fake trees.
Photo by Carly Cuoco