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Getting an Artificial Christmas Tree? Choose This Type.

You'll save resources and reduce risk of toxins.

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Artificial Christmas tree from Holiday Tree and Trim Co., made in the U.S.A., green Christmas trees for the holidays.
Photo: Holiday Tree and Trim Co.

By Brian Clark Howard

If you do choose to go with an artificial Christmas tree for your holiday celebration, buy one that has been made in America. This will greatly decrease the chances for contamination with lead or other toxins, preserve much-needed domestic manufacturing jobs and reduce shipping.

Dreaming of a green Christmas? Deciding what type of Christmas tree is greenest is no easy task, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Real trees bring a slice of nature into your home, sequester carbon emissions and provide some habitat when they are raised, which is mostly on farms these days. They also require a lot of fuel to ship (unless you can find a locally raised one) and may be farmed intensively, with pesticides that can drift into the environment.

Artificial trees are the choice of about 70 percent of Americans. They can last for decades, even generations, if taken care of, meaning no new resources are needed. They are made of petroleum products, however, typically polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is known to release toxic byproducts during manufacture. Most fake trees come from China, and a number have been cited for toxic contaminants. They also generally aren't recyclable, though you can always donate them to others.

A few sources of American-made Christmas trees include New Jersey's Holiday Tree and Trim Co. and USChristmastree.com.

Related: 11 Ways to Save Trees ... Without Planting One


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