Artificial trees – truly a "greener" choice?

Artifical Christmas trees vs real trees'Tis the season when some shop at Christmas tree lots, some canvass tree farms, and some hunt trees in the wild.

Countless others erect artificial trees each year, saving money in the long run and sparing the environment, to boot.

Or do they? Perhaps not, says a Tacoma News Tribune story.

Artificial trees must be reused for 20 years before they become the better environmental choice, says a 2009 report on sustainable development.

And then there's the misperception about forests being plundered to stock commercial lots. With few exceptions, Christmas trees come from farms. When a tree is cut, it's quickly replaced with a seedling, and come New Year's they're typically recycled like other yard waste.

Not convinced? Read the News Tribune article and make up your own mind. If you decide to go the "real tree" route, check out tips for cutting your own tree in National Forests or at a tree farm near you in Washington or Oregon.

by  Jon Osterberg

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