As many Americans set out to purchase a live Christmas tree, doubts may be causing them to wonder if they're making the best decision in choosing a real tree over an artificial one.
There are pros and cons to each side.
First, there are benefits to buying a "faux" Christmas tree.
You'll most likely use it for more than one year, so you will save money by not purchasing a new Christmas tree every year.
An artificial tree is convenient. All you have to do is unload it from that box in the attic and set it up, without worrying about its shape or levels of brown versus green needles.
And, according to ChristmasTreesGalore. com, "Real Christmas trees become a fire hazard as they dry out, especially since they remain in such close proximity to electric lights.
High-quality artificial Christmas trees are made from fire-resistant material, which means that even if there is an electric spark, it is less likely to cause any major damage."
However, there are some disadvantages, the most prevalent one being the health hazard they might represent.
Artificial trees are often made from PVC plastic, and older models may contain lead, which could spread through the home.
Also, people rarely consider where an artificial tree is produced; many come from China rather than the United States, which isn't helping our economy as much.
In a nutshell, real trees are environmentally friendly because they are recyclable, produce clean air and oxygen, and serve as wildlife habitats. They are a renewable and replaceable resource, and most are produced by U.S. Christmas tree farms.
The pine needles smell fresh, and the joy of picking out your own Christmas tree adds to the satisfaction of setting it up in your home.
Jeremiah Cover works at Park Greenhouse in Ripon, an d his family owns the business. He sums it up like this: "Real trees are better for the environment because they produce oxygen when growing and don't have to be manufactured. They are probably a little more expensive depending on the size and length of time you would use the fake one."
Emily Hoeksema is a senior at Ripon Christian High School and a member of The Bee's Teens in the Newsroom Program.