Friday, November 7, 2008

Rethinking Christmas: Potted Trees?


There's fake trees, there's fake pre-lit trees, there's real trees, and now, there's potted trees. The Christmas tree is the epicenter of everything Christmas. The gifts are underneath, the decorations are chosen with care, and people even take plenty of time to choose just the right tree for them. With the rising popularity of potted christmas trees, which one is the best for you?

First, if you already have a fake Christmas tree, why get rid of it? It's next to impossible to recycle a Christmas tree, and most of them truly do last forever. With fake trees, you don't have to worry about the risk of fire, and the cost benefit of reusing a tree every year is very tempting. If you absolutely want a new tree, consider finding a local organization that will take the tree of your hands. Post an ad on Craigslist and Kijiji to have someone pick up the tree (or you could drop it off). Still, there are cons to owning a fake tree. Here are a few:

Cons of Fake Christmas Trees

  • Incredibly hard to clean. Dust accumulates on trees and is virtually impossible to clean.

  • There are large amounts of energy used to produce a plastic Christmas tree.

  • There's no way to recycle a Christmas tree, just to pass the tree down to someone else who may need or want it.



Pros of Fake Christmas Trees

  • Cost effective. Buy it once, you could possibly never have to buy another one.

  • Flame retardant. Fake Christmas trees are far more resistant to fire.

  • Easy to put back up every year.



Cons of Real Trees

  • You're cutting down a real tree.

  • Real trees often end up in landfills year after year.

  • Real Christmas trees are a larger risk to catch on fire.

  • While cheaper than fake trees, real trees over the long term will cost much more since you need one every year.

  • They need to be watered to prevent drying out and causing a fire.



Pros of Real Christmas Trees

  • The smell!

  • Christmas trees are replanted to replace the cut one that's in your home every year.

  • You don't have to worry about cleaning them since they'll be recycled (hopefully) after using them.

  • They look better.

  • Real Christmas trees don't use the huge amount of energy that fake ones use to be produced, even with transport considered.



Cons of Potted Christmas Trees

  • They're very big and heavy. You will most likely need a dolly and a couple of people to haul in a potted Christmas tree.

  • You need to take care of the roots and water your Christmas tree to ensure it will live after being in your home.

  • Potted Christmas trees shouldn't stay in the home for a long time...only 1-2 weeks.

  • Finding a home in your yard for your potted Christmas tree after use can be tedious.

  • They aren't easy to find in some areas.



Pros of Potted Christmas Trees

  • Potted Christmas trees can be planted in your yard or given to someone else and potted.

  • There's no curbside waste from potted Christmas trees.

  • You'll have a new tree in your card every year, providing shade and reducing your energy costs.



So which type of tree is the best for you? If you already have a fake tree, keep it. If you purchase cut trees every year, consider switching to potted ones, even if only every other year. If you must use cut Christmas trees, be sure to recycle them after use by visiting The National Christmas Tree Association to see where you can recycle your tree.

More Tips for Buying Potted Christmas Trees

  • You don't have to buy just pine trees, you can purchase palm trees or any household plant to use as a Christmas tree.

  • Use low watt or energy star approved Christmas lights to decrease energy use.

1 comment:

Alida Antonia Cornelius said...

Real trees are the best to buy for Christmas, whether they are cut, or potted.
There are people who make a living growing Christmas trees, and they don't cut down trees in forests.
You would be amazed at what goes into growing trees for a living. It's difficult hard labor, but it's a labor of love.
I like to buy live trees which can be planted. Yes, they are more expensive, but you buy a smaller one and make it a table top tree.
Then, you can enjoy it all year 'round in the yard.
Indiana, Pennsylvania is the Christmas Tree Capitol of the USA because of all the tree farms there.
Buy local.
Buy a real tree.
Support USA businesses!