How to choose the best fir tree for the New Year: pros and cons of natural and artificial trees
The growth of environmental awareness in society is definitely a positive trend. But every year, it presents us with a difficult choice: should we choose a natural tree for the winter holidays or an artificial one? The artificial one requires special disposal, while the natural one will have to be cut down somewhere.
Inverse asked Curtis Vanderschaaf, a professor of forestry at the University of Mississippi, to clarify the situation. And he told us what is really important to pay attention to when choosing a fir tree. In fact, both live and artificial trees have their advantages and disadvantages.
Pros and cons of a live fir tree
Like any living tree, a fir tree in the forest absorbs carbon dioxide from the air and fights the greenhouse effect and global warming to the best of its ability. A felled tree, of course, cannot do this. This is the main argument against it.
However, in responsible forestries, new trees are always planted to replace the cut ones. That's why it's important to choose a tree of proven origin. And local, because the longer it travels from its forest to your home, the more transport emissions it will have "on its conscience".
Also take care of the proper disposal of the tree after the holidays. Take it to recycling centers. After all, a whole tree thrown into a landfill will emit methane during decomposition, which heats up the atmosphere much more effectively than carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, shredded wood is used to make useful mulch or bedding for livestock stalls. Alternatively, the wood can be cut into small pieces and left in the forest, where they will become a temporary shelter for many insects, birds, and wildlife.
Pros and cons of an artificial tree
The most obvious advantage of an artificial fir tree is its reusability. Such a tree requires virtually no maintenance and can be much more magnificent than a natural tree.
However, synthetic fir tree materials decompose poorly and for a very long time in natural conditions. In addition, their production also causes emissions.
Therefore, if you choose an artificial tree, make sure you buy one made of the highest quality materials that will last as long as possible. Assemble and disassemble the tree carefully so as not to damage it, and if any parts fail, try to replace only them, not the entire structure. With care, an artificial fir tree can last 30 years or longer. Strive for this.
Also pay attention to where it was produced. About 80% of fir trees are made in China and go a long way to the buyer. Since they are shipped in large quantities, the emissions per tree will be relatively small, but if possible, still give preference to local producers.
Study the labeling. If the branches of a tree are made of polyethylene, according to research, it will have a lower environmental impact than a tree made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).
If you want to upgrade your artificial fir tree, but the old one still looks good, try reselling or donating it. Orphanages or nursing homes are usually happy to accept holiday decor.
Earlier, OBOZ.UA told you how to choose a safe place to set up a tree in your home.