(© Can Stock Photo / sparkia)

Christmas tree debate continues

The selection of a Christmas tree is often the centre of discussion every December, while the most common debate is natural vs. artificial.

From an environmental perspective, Goderich-based Coastal Stewardship Coordinator Daniela Klicper said real trees have the advantage.

“Real trees are typically locally grown, harvested from tree farms,” said Klicper. “These farms can act as carbon sinks, soaking up that carbon dioxide and then producing oxygen. These farms also create jobs in the community so they do help reduce pressure on forest exploitation.”

Recycling the trees after Christmas into mulch for parks, habitat for fish and wildlife and even material for crafts is also beneficial.

Klicper points out there is research to indicate that using an artificial tree for five years or more can actually outweigh the reduction of the carbon footprint of using a real tree.

She added, however, even though they are convenient and require less maintenance, “most of our artificial trees are made of polyvinyl chloride and steel and those are shipped to North America. So eventually most of those end up in a landfill because they are very hard to recycle.”