The environmental impacts of Christmas trees

‘Tis the season for over 94 million American households to display a Christmas tree, according to the American Christmas Tree Association. More people are trying to be environmentally aware, so which Christmas tree is the best: real or fake?

For decades, the debate over real versus artificial Christmas trees has plagued Americans. Though deforestation accounts for 15 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global climate change, real trees, usually grown in a Christmas tree farm, are considered to be eco-friendlier than artificial trees. Usually manufactured in China with non-biodegradable materials, artificial trees take a long, carbon-emitting ride on cargo ships to the United States.

ACTA and Nielsen found 80 percent of Christmas trees this year will be artificial and 20 percent will be real. Because artificial trees can be used year after year and weren’t cut down, many people choose artificial trees believing it’s the best green option, but the National Christmas Tree Association and other organizations are trying to get the word out on real trees. Save On Energy made the infographic below to show the environmental impacts of both real and artificial Christmas trees.

The Great Christmas Tree Showdown

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