And hopefully what popped into your head was, Christmas tree, right? It's an age old debate -- okay, maybe only since fake trees entered the market -- which is better, a real or fake tree?
If you've already purchased a fake tree, or have had one for years and it still looks decent, stop reading.
But if you're contemplating whether to go to:
a) Tar-zhay or Treasure Island (do those exist anymore?) to pick up a plastic tree
b) a tree farm or nursery (or street corner like we do in NYC) to get a fresh cut or live tree
here are some of the pros and cons of both.
Pros: can be reused over and over again; seemingly cheaper than a real tree
Cons: (most) made from PVC, an evil cancer-causing plastic; (most) made in China, burning lots of CO2 to get here; may contain lead
Pros: renewable resource; absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and release oxygen during growth; can be mulched, composted, used for beach erosion prevention; farming of trees preserves green spaces
Cons: may be treated with pesticides, which end up in the waterways during farming and after disposal
If you've got a yard to plant it in, a live rooted tree is a great option. Or if you don't have a yard and are feeling ambitious, you can try to contact someone who will plant it for you (more info).
In our home, we choose the real tree every year. I despise PVC and just love the pine scent of a fresh cut tree. I also love finding all of those fallen needles in the crevices where the vacuum doesn't go -- it always reminds me of happy Christmases past.
[Sources: ChristmasTree.org, EarthTalk]
When the holidays are through, be sure to recycle your real tree
Live in NYC?
Check with the NYC Department of Sanitation to find out when they'll be picking up trees for recycling.
Don't live in NYC?
Go to Earth 911 for information on recycling in your area.
And what about the trimmings?
LED Holiday Lights save energy ($26.99 at Amazon)
Safari Wool Animal Ornaments (set of 4) are handspun, handknit,
fair trade, and adorable (on sale $35 at VivaTerra)
Connect and Reflect Ornament fair trade and handmade in India ($11.95 at OriginalGood)