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Christmas tree in snow with colored lightsIt’s that time of year again when all of us who celebrate Christmas begin to decorate our homes for the season.  My childhood memory is of my father, pulling our fake Christmas tree down from the attic.   To me, this seemed so environmentally responsible– re-using it year after year and thus cutting down on the waste of its real counterparts.   But after the birth of my son, I started to look at this synthetic replica of nature and wonder “could this really be more eco-friendly than cutting down a tree?”  Turns out it’s not.  Most environmentalists would agree that real trees are the better choice.  85% of all fake Christmas trees are manufactured in China and are made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), one of the most non-renewable forms of petroleum derived plastic–certainly not a product that I want in my home, nevermind sitting in a land fill.  Real Christmas trees, on the other hand,  are healthy for our indoor air quality, can be re-planted in a yard or even recycled and made into wood chips to be used  in many of our public parks.  Ever since my revelation, my families new tradition is to head into the woods of Pennsylvania, where we hand-pick and cut down our Christmas tree.  The part I love best about this new holiday tradition is that my son’s memories of Christmas will be one of a tree that comes out of the woods, and not out of a box.    Happy Holidays!

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