Go Artificial: Save Memories and the Environment

First things first, my tree lights up and spins when you plug it in. Can your real tree do that?

Since 2008, the National Christmas Tree Association has done an annual survey on how many households use fake vs. real trees. Not surprisingly, each year, fake trees have won with ease. In fact, the latest figure shows that 81% of families who celebrate Christmas use fake trees, with the remaining 19% using real. Don’t wonder why the vast majority of Americans use artificial trees, because the answer is simple: fake trees are objectively better.

Artificial trees really allow people to choose their idea of the perfect tree instead of choosing from a selection of the same real trees. Want a light gray tree with built in white lights? Or maybe a very dark green tree with multicolored lights? You are sure to find fake trees that meet both those requirements and everything in between. Not only do fake trees let people put their own twist on a Christmas tree, but they’re reusable! You do not have to waste time picking out a new Christmas tree each year. Instead, just walk to your storage space and bring out that beautiful Christmas tree from last year. If a family gets bored of their same Christmas tree, they could buy a new one- maybe this time a different shade of green or different lights. Try picking out a totally different shade of tree with real ones.

Those who argue that fake trees are environmentally harmful can stop arguing; in 2010, PE International did an analysis on the impact of fake and real Christmas trees. The results showed that a family only needed to keep an artificial tree for four years before its carbon footprint would be smaller than a family that buys a new, real tree each year. Not only should you buy fake Christmas trees for the environmental benefit, but the American Christmas Tree Association also notes that real trees can potentially trigger plant-related pollen allergies. With a fake tree, no one has to worry about this. Even if no one in your family has a pollen allergy, you don’t want a guest to have an allergic reaction at your Christmas party. Better be careful when deciding which type of tree to buy next time.

Fake trees are perfect in every way. Completely symmetrical with a beautiful, sharp tip at the top, perfect for placing a beautiful star on. With real trees, some of them are a bit lopsided or the tip at the top isn’t in a completely vertical position. Sure, some real trees are pretty even on both sides, but imagine going Christmas tree shopping late into the tree buying season. One will frankly be better off with investing in an artificial tree. Not only are they beautiful, but they are all symmetrical. Who would want to stare at an asymmetrical tree during the holidays, anyway?

Yes, fake Christmas trees have all these amazing benefits, but one very important reason as to why you should invest in an artificial tree is because that one tree can remind you and others of all the memories you’ve made throughout the years. I know that I have grown up with the same tree, and there is something very nostalgic and sweet about setting up and plugging in the same, beautiful tree each year. That tree has been with us when we moved houses, years when we had guests over for Christmas, and the other years when it was just our family. We have added ornaments to and put away old ones from our tree, but that same, gorgeous tree has been with us for a very long and time and never fails to put a smile on our faces when we bring it back to life.

This age-old debate will continue, but it’s evident which type of tree is better in essentially every aspect. Artificial trees allow consumers to create their ideal Christmas tree, and they save everyone time. If you keep that beautiful, personalized tree for four years, you’re being more environmentally cautious than people who buy a new, real tree each year. Plus, with purchasing a fake tree, there is no risk for a potential allergic reaction. Even better yet, artificial trees are more satisfying because of their perfect symmetry. Lastly, fake trees create and hold memories that people will cherish and remember each year when they bring that tree out again for yet another Christmas. So, let me ask you this simple no brainer: which type of tree is better?

– Katie Chen ’20

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