Yes, I admit it. I am here to come clean. I once bought an artificial tree. I thought at the time it was a great idea – a “smart” investment for all my future Christmas seasons. I discovered it was not a smart decision nor was it great investment. Nope. It sadly didn’t work out as I had hoped. I also regret the long term impact this single purchase has had on my community and our environment.
First, putting it together was tedious making sure I knew exactly where to put the “F” size branches versus the “G” sized ones. Then trying to bend and flex and fluff and move all those individual branches. Instinctively I knew all those pieces and parts would NEVER fit back in the original box, so I had my husband drag it out – fully assembled, through our back door, placing it in our storage building for the rest of the year since there was no way to fit this artificial tree in the attic. What a waste of time and what a waste of space and money. It never looked as good as it did right out of the box so we tossed it in the 2nd year. It seems I am not alone in this as published recently on PR Newswire. They found that 97% of consumers who previously bought artificial Christmas trees switched to a real Christmas tree during the pandemic and just as important, nearly 90% wish they had started purchasing a real Christmas tree sooner!
Did you know that most artificial (fake) trees are made from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)? This is a synthetic plastic polymer that is non-biodegradable. There is nothing sustainable or healthy about having that toxic emitting un-natural plastic in your home. The potential for lead poisoning from this manufactured product is considered high enough that the state of California requires a warning label on ALL artificial trees made in China. I don’t even want to think of how those factories are run. It is erroneously sold as “greener option” but according to the Carbon Trust you would have to keep that fake tree in use for at least 10 years or more to lower the environmental impact vs. a natural live Fraser fir Christmas tree. So, the image of having that fake tree up for one month and somehow that tree survives being pulled out of the attic for an average of 7 years – that makes it 7 months of use and forever (yes, hundreds of years) in the landfill – our landfills and negatively affecting our ground water.
In contrast, during the life cycle of a Fraser fir Christmas tree, our Shatley Farms trees help absorb carbon dioxide while releasing oxygen, provides watershed protection to our land and creates a habitat for wildlife. When Christmas is over there are so many wonderful ways to recycle a natural Fraser Fir Christmas tree that help our wildlife, our waterways other ecosystems and even our own backyards (mulch). Here are a few great ideas for Sustainable Recycling from the Arbor Day Foundation. I guess you could say it is a Christmas gift that keeps on giving!
Did you know that nearly all artificial trees are manufactured in China? Real Christmas trees are grown by farmers – USA farms have approximately 350 million Christmas trees on their farm land. Trees and greenery contribute to the local economy. In Ashe County, North Carolina our local tree farms provide over 700 permanent jobs and 2,000 seasonal employment opportunities during the Christmas tree harvest and shipping season. Each tree you purchase is literally helping a local US farmer and the local economy. That is something we should all be proud of!
Did you know that the cost of artificial Christmas trees is going up 20%-25% and more per tree this year due to the global supply chain issues – remember, these are manufactured far away in China – a logistical nightmare!
Freshly cut Fraser fir Christmas trees are all shipped from our farm to your local store using U.S. freight carriers. No need to worry about international supply chain headaches and costs. US raised and US shipped from our local farmland to your retail location. With the savings you will get buying a sustainable resource you can easily add an evergreen wreath, fresh garland or décor, with cash left over!
Now that is the REAL DEAL and a NATURALLY BETTER way to go, don’t you think?