It genuinely interests me to find new ways to decrease my toxic load. I know that it’s impossible to completely phase out every single toxin but I am a firm believer that small changes make a big impact. This brings me to a great way we could also decrease our toxic load this season. Growing up, we always had artificial trees in our home but when I met Derrek he was so persistent on buying a real tree for our first Christmas. I was so irritated at him because I was always told it was a fire hazard. Little did I know, he knew better than me. It kills me to tell him he was right but here I am, ha!
Did you know that the first artifical Christmas trees were actually made in the early 1930’s by a company called Addis Brush? They were in the business of making toilet scrubbers and brushes. So, the first fake trees were really nothing more than gigantic, green toilet bowl scrubbers. Imagine that! It’s pretty funny to think about now.
Artificial trees are made from PVC plastic. Researchers believe that millions of artificial trees, especially older models, could be harboring lead, which can easily spread inside the home. Furthermore, PVC plastics release dioxins over time. These dioxins are extremely toxic to both humans and animals. When they’re released into the air or water, they’re stored in our fatty tissue and can cause cancer, neurological damage, and many other serious health issues. PVC is a petroleum-based, non-biodegradable plastic. Once you throw your artificial tree away, it’s going to be in the landfill forever. And because the plastic fibers are fused and glued to the metal frame, artificial trees can’t be recycled.Fake trees are also a fire hazard. The Farmington Hills, MI fire department conducted a burn test to see which was more dangerous in a fire: an artificial tree or a real tree and the results are scary! The artificial tree burned so quickly, the real tree didn’t have a chance to get half way through burning.
According to the USDA, almost all of the real Christmas trees sold in the U.S. are grown by U.S. farmers. On average, 25-30 million real trees are sold each year. This helps employ over 100,000 workers right here at home in all 50 states where Christmas trees are grown.Right now, there are over 350 million Christmas trees growing here in the U.S. These trees help keep our air clean and also provide sheltered habitat for wildlife. And for every tree cut down, 1-3 trees are planted in its place in the Spring.
Real trees make your home smell really, really good. There’s nothing better than walking into your home and smelling the fresh scent of balsam fir!I think the environmental advantages to buying real trees and the support for U.S. farmers far outweigh the yearly cost of the tree. I am excited to make this simple change this year in my home. I already love the health benefits from adding in plants into my home and a Christmas tree is just the biggest plant I’ve ever had inside! Do you use a real tree or fake? Be sure to weigh in your thoughts after reading this post.