Sunday, December 19, 2010

Real Christmas trees are greener

Here's some more good news for Oregon's Christmas Tree growing industry: Real trees have been deemed better for the environment than their fake counterparts, according to a study by a sustainability strategy firm, Ellipsos Inc.

The report, highlighted in the New York Times over the weekend, found that unless a fake tree is kept and used for 20 years or more, a natural tree, born and bred for the Christmas Tree stand, is a better choice for those concerned about resource depletion and climate change.

For Oregon tree farms, which sell about $100 million in Christmas Trees every year, the bulk of them to California, the evidence supporting their product as a greener choice is welcome.

The Pacific Northwest Christmas Tree Association has been touting the environmental benefits of their real firs for years, highlighting the fact that many trees are grown in soil that won't support other crops in addition to their benefits as a producer of oxygen.

And, as with the wrapping paper, recycling of trees after the holiday is encouraged —recycling is a much tougher proposition for fake trees.

But, as the folks at Ellipsos report, the one-a-year Christmas Tree dilemma is hardly going to prove catastrophic for the climate. As the report states, "regardless of the chosen type of tree, the impacts on the environment are negligible compared to other activities, such as car use."

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