There is something magical about a Christmas tree, especially when it’s all lit up at night and your turn off all of the other lights. My brother and I used to love laying under our tree and just looking up at it. We also used to sleep in the living room at least one night during the Christmas season, just so we could sleep with the Christmas lights on.
We had real Christmas trees the first couple of years of my life. However, my parents figured out I was allergic to the real trees and the rest of my childhood we had an artificial Christmas tree.
There are advantages and disadvantages to real verses artificial. From an environmental point of view live is likely best but from a homemaking point of view artificial likely wins. For me there is no choice, artificial or an asthma attack. Any surprise that I stick with artificial?
If you go with a real tree be sure to try to get one locally, bonus green points if it’s potted! If you do choose to go with an artificial Christmas tree, there are ways to make it greener.
How to Green Your Artificial Christmas Tree
Take care of it.
The best thing you can do is take care of your tree and get as much use out of it as possible. If you do decide to get a new tree when your old one still has some life in it, donate it. Many can’t afford a tree and would be happy to take your tree, even if it’s not perfect.
Vacuum and dust often.
Most artificial trees contain PVC which can contain lead and most lights also contain lead. Make sure to vacuum and wet dust the room the tree is in often to reduce lead exposure. Also don’t let kids touch the tree and wash your hands well after handling it.
Choose a low PVC or PVC-free tree.
PVC-free trees are hard to find and quite expensive. However, you are now seeing more trees that use more PE plastic in place of some of the PVC. Our tree is mostly PE with just some PVC. It’s from Balsam Hill and we are very happy with it. Look for the trees they call “most realistic.” The realistic branches are the non-PVC ones.
Use LED lights.
LED lights use less energy and last longer. They also put off less heat making them much safer.
Following these tips will help you have a greener Christmas, artificial Christmas tree or not!
Want to help even more? GIF’t a Tree to someone. Since 2009, Green is Universal and the Arbor Day Foundation have teamed up to plant trees for the holidays. Head over to Green is Universal to create your own tree GIF or use #GIFtATree on social media.
For each action, they will plant one real tree, up to 25,000, in a state park or national forest, funded by a $25,000 contribution to the Arbor Day Foundation, from NBCU. Make as many as you want throughout the month of December. You can see my tree over on Pinterest!