Artificial Christmas trees may not be the most eco-friendly option but if you have one you can make it a bit more eco-friendly with these tips.
There is something magical about a Christmas tree, especially when it’s all lit up at night and you turn off all of the other lights. My brother and I used to love laying under our tree and just looking up at it. We also used to sleep in the living room at least one night during the Christmas season, just so we could sleep with the Christmas lights on.
We had real Christmas trees the first couple of years of my life. However, my parents figured out I was allergic to the real trees and the rest of my childhood we had an artificial Christmas tree.
There are advantages and disadvantages to real versus artificial. From an environmental point of view live is likely best but from a homemaking point of view artificial likely wins. For me, there is no choice, artificial or an asthma attack. Any surprise that I stick with artificial?
If you go with a real tree be sure to try to get one locally, bonus green points if it’s potted. If you do choose to go with an artificial Christmas tree, there are ways to make it greener.
HOW TO GREEN YOUR ARTIFICIAL CHRISTMAS TREE
TAKE CARE OF IT.
The best thing you can do is take care of your tree and get as much use out of it as possible. If you do decide to get a new tree when your old one still has some life in it, donate it. Many can’t afford a tree and would be happy to take your tree, even if it’s not perfect.
VACUUM AND DUST OFTEN.
Most artificial trees contain PVC which can contain lead and most lights also contain lead. Make sure to vacuum and wet dust the room the tree is in often to reduce lead exposure. Also, don’t let kids touch the tree and wash your hands well after handling it.
CHOOSE A LOW PVC OR PVC-FREE TREE.
PVC-free trees are hard to find and quite expensive. However, you are now seeing more trees that use more PE plastic in place of some of the PVC. Our tree is mostly PE with just some PVC. It’s from Balsam Hill and we are very happy with it. Look for the trees they call “most realistic.” The realistic branches are the non-PVC ones.
USE LED LIGHTS.
LED lights use less energy and last longer. They also put off less heat making them much safer. Remember, even LED Christmas lights can contain lead. Wash your hands after using them and don’t like kids handle them.