The holiday season is synonymous with traditions, and one of the most enduring is the selection of the Christmas tree. In recent years, a growing body of research and environmental awareness has brought attention to the numerous benefits of choosing a natural Christmas tree over an artificial one. From enhancing indoor air quality to contributing positively to the environment, real Christmas trees offer a multitude of advantages.
Health Benefits of Natural Christmas Trees
A article by Texas A&M University reveals a significant aspect of real Christmas trees often overlooked: their health benefits. The presence of a living tree in the home during the holidays can positively affect mental health, increase productivity, and elevate overall happiness. More than just decorations, these trees play a crucial role in enhancing the immune system and reducing anxiety, making them invaluable for our well-being during the festive season.
Unlike plastic-based artificial trees, natural Christmas trees do not release harmful pollutants. Artificial trees are often made from materials that emit volatile organic compounds. VOCs can deteriorate indoor air quality and pose health risks. In contrast, real Christmas trees help purify the air, creating a healthier environment for family gatherings.
The environmental impact of Christmas trees is a crucial factor in the real vs. artificial debate. Real Christmas trees are grown specifically for holiday use, with a typical tree taking about 10 years to reach maturity. This long growth period allows these trees to absorb carbon dioxide, contributing significantly to carbon sequestration and mitigating climate change effects.
Post-holiday, natural Christmas trees offer a sustainable end-of-life cycle. They are entirely biodegradable and can be repurposed as mulch or used in landscaping. On the other hand, artificial trees are nearly impossible to recycle. This biodegradability ensures that real trees have a minimal environmental footprint.
The Problem with Artificial Trees
The convenience of artificial trees comes at a high environmental cost. Made primarily from non-renewable plastics and metals, these trees contribute to both pollution and waste. The production, transportation, and disposal of artificial trees involve significant carbon emissions. Additionally, as reported by the National Christmas Tree Association, artificial trees are almost impossible to recycle due to their mixed-material composition. Furthermore, 85% of artificial trees are imported from China, resulting in carbon emissions far higher than domestically-produced natural Christmas Trees.
According to Sustainability for All, in order for an artificial Christmas tree to become worth it, the fake tree would need to be used for a whopping 12 years — twice the average span of a time a fake Christmas tree is typically used for. Several sources even cite up to 20 years needed to offset the carbon footprint of an artificial tree.
The Economic and Social Impact of Choosing Natural
Choosing a natural Christmas tree also supports local economies, including small family-owned businesses like Ciro & Sons Christmas Trees. Most natural trees sold in the United States are grown domestically. Purchasing a real Christmas Tree supports local farmers and small businesses. This not only helps sustain agricultural communities but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with long-distance transportation of artificial trees.
To learn more about how Ciro & Sons sources our trees, read our blog post on the journey of a Christmas Tree.
The Aesthetic and Emotional Appeal
Beyond the tangible benefits, there’s an undeniable charm and nostalgia associated with real Christmas trees. The experience of selecting a tree, the natural pine scent, and the unique character of each tree create lasting memories and a sense of tradition. These sensory experiences are integral to the festive spirit and cannot be replicated by artificial alternatives.
At Ciro & Sons, we’ve been serving Orlando and Central Florida for nearly 40 years — providing the freshest real Christmas trees.
Natural Christmas Trees are the Better Choice
Doubling down on a natural Christmas tree is more than a choice—it’s a commitment to health, environment, and tradition. With their air-purifying qualities, carbon-sequestering growth, and biodegradable nature, real trees offer a sustainable and health-conscious option for holiday celebrations. As we bask in the joy and warmth of the holiday season, choosing a real Christmas tree is a small, yet impactful step towards a healthier, greener future.