Real vs. Faux Christmas Tree


Dahlila Esparza, Staff Writer

Decorating is a vital part of many Christmas traditions, and one of the most significant components of decoration is Christmas trees! The idea of the Christmas tree was first created by German Protestant Christians and was based on the Yule tree. Despite these remote beginnings, the tree is still used globally in the modern era. But with its prevalence, many people are worried about the stability of using a traditional tree amidst the recent environmental crises. All of this conflict bears the question; are real or faux trees superior?  

Real trees have many positive attributes, namely their environmental importance. Many Christmas trees absorb carbon dioxide, emit fresh oxygen, stabilize soil, provide refuge for wildlife, filter water, and reduce runoff. According to the USDA, almost every natural Christmas tree sold in the United States is produced by American farmers. So with buying, you’re supporting local businesses and stimulating the economy too!

Notwithstanding their environmental importance, Christmas trees have some negative attributes as well. The trees need to be watered and often make a mess with their needles, harbor bugs, and are a fire/allergy hazard. Real trees are frankly too much of a hassle for the price, a whopping $75 for a single-use product is unreasonable.

The first faux Christmas tree was made in 1930 by the Addis Housewares Company.  The trees were made with the same animal hair bristles used in their toilet brushes, except they were dyed green. Despite their unsanitary beginnings, Faux Christmas trees are actually now cleaner (no needles, water, or pesky bugs) and easier to set up than real ones. Faux trees are also cheaper in the long run and come in many fun colors of colors (pink, red, black, etc) to match any decor. 

The cons of faux Christmas trees are the serious health concerns that come with them. The trees are made of PVC, lead, and carcinogens. These harmful materials may cause damage to the kidney, nerves, and the reproductive system. There are many environmental factors too since the trees are made with non-recyclable plastic and have a larger carbon footprint due to the travel. 

Ultimately, with this list of pros and cons, it all boils down to whether tradition and saving the environment are more important than cleanliness and convenience in this new modern era.