Should You Get An Artificial Or Real Christmas Tree?

Should You Get An Artificial Or Real Christmas Tree?

Many people assume that buying an artificial Christmas tree is better for the environment than buying a real one, given that real trees are cut down en masse. But in fact, a 2009 study found that an artificial tree used for a period of six years is associated with more carbon emissions than putting up a real one each year. By considering greenhouse gas emissions, human health factors, and resource consumption, the study concluded that an artificial tree would have to be reused for more than 20 years for its impact to be "greener" than that of real trees bought annually.


Key Facts In This Video

  • 1

    The Fraser fir is the most popular choice for a Christmas tree. (0:11)

  • 2

    Scientists are trying to breed better Christmas trees that don't shed as many needles. (0:47)

  • 3

    Cold weather helps evergreen trees to hold their needles longer. (1:17)

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