As many of you may know, a few years ago I chose plastic over paper (so to speak) when it came to our Christmas tree. It's a decision I wonder about every year, but the whole Christmas tree is a giant conundrum.
On one hand, the impact of growing Christmas trees isn't negligible. Unless you can find one grown organically (or sustainable) and shipped en masse close to you, there are a ton of petrochemicals involved. Fertilizers and pesticides are used for the tree during "production" and each individual driving out to the hinterlands to chop down and/or collect their own tree from the tree farm uses more gas. If they deliver near you, that certainly saves some on gas (depending on the efficiency of the trucks, of course).
On the other hand, you have the plastic, lead filled tree that was mostly likely made overseas under dubious conditions and shipped (generally by container, which is a little better) to the destination before being trucked out to your area. Needless to say the footprint of a plastic tree is no small potatoes.
We're hoping that our fake tree will last for many, many years to come. I have fond memories, too, of assembling the fake Christmas tree that I grew up with so perhaps my kids will have the same nostalgia. Although I definitely prefer the fresh-cut tree and had dreams of taking the kids out to a tree farm to U-cut a tree, it wasn't really realistic back when we bought the fake tree.
And, I must admit, this one is a snap to care for. More importantly, it already has LED lights embedded in it, so the electrical usage on it is low. Plus, since it breaks down into three pieces, I can manage it myself. Oh yeah, and really, my tree isn't flocked pink.
What kind of tree (if you celebrate with a tree, that is) will you have this year?