Do Artificial Christmas Trees save Resources?

Using artificial Christmas trees saves more resources than using real trees if the artificial trees are used for at least 20 years. If they are discarded before then, they use more resources than if a real tree was cut down each year for the holiday. Artificial Christmas trees generally contain polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which releases carcinogens when it is made and when it is disposed of. About 85% of artificial trees purchased in the US are produced in China, which means that they require the use of a significant amount of resources to be shipped to the US. The factories in China typically are powered by coal, which is one of the dirtiest fuel sources.

More about Christmas trees:

  • The average artificial Christmas tree is used for just five years.
  • An estimated 400 million Christmas trees are growing on farms each year, and about 30 million are cut down to be used as decorations.
  • About 13 million new artificial Christmas trees are bought in the US each year, and — including reused ones — an estimated 50 million are put up each year.
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Discussion Comments


@Krunchyman - First of all, I don't think you're getting off topic. Second of all, you do bring up a good point. To answer your question, China is one of the largest production industries, where quite a few products are produced and shipped.

On another note, I noticed how it said 30 million trees are cut down each year. If so, how badly will this affect us in the future? Deforestation is quite an issue, and will only continue to increase if we're not careful.


I know this isn't one of the main topics of the article, but I couldn't help but noticed how it said artificial trees are produced in China. I don't want to go off topic, but why is this usually the case? Why are a lot of products we think are American made in China? Just food for thought.


For the past five year or so, I have constantly switched back and forth between real Christmas trees, and artificial ones. In my opinion, it's a nice balance that generally speaking, helps you to not cross that line. This is just my opinion, so don't quote me on this, but if you constantly buy real ones, you're only contributing to the destruction of the environment, even if it's unintentional. On the other hand, fake Christmas tress have their downsides as well.

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