Why Real Christmas Wreaths are Better for the Environment

By: Lynn Jebbia

Conscientious consumers today concerned about the environment are taking the time to consider the consequences of their purchases. More and more people are making an effort to purchase products that use renewable resources. When it comes to buying a real, live Christmas wreath or an artificial wreath many people are choosing real.

Artificial wreaths are made from plastics and other petroleum based products. You'd have to be living on the moon to not know that petroleum is not a renewable resource. This alone should motivate people to not purchase artificial wreaths. Most artificial wreaths are made in China whose demand for petroleum is increasing by 25% a year as more Chinese can afford to have cars. Petroleum is used to make the plastic for artificial wreaths and more petroleum is used to transport them to the United States.

The biggest reason people buy artificial wreaths is because they last for many years. They have an expected life of nine or ten years. Most people don't keep them that long and of course they end up at the landfill where they will stay for 5000 years or more.

Live Christmas wreaths have many environmental benefits. They're recyclable if you take the wires and rings off. Many communities have recycling programs in place during the holiday season to pick up your Christmas trees and wreaths. They are chipped and made into mulch. However, Christmas wreaths are usually kept on doors far past the holiday season.

Real Christmas wreaths are a renewable resource. The trees are not cut down to harvest the branches used for Christmas wreaths. Around 12 to 18 inches of the branches are cut off or tipped as we say in Maine. These branches continue to grow year after year. Real Christmas wreaths are more of a renewable resource than even real Christmas trees. Even though Christmas tree farms typically plant up to three more trees for every one they cut down they are still cutting one down. Tipping trees is kind of like pruning your shrubbery. The branches grow back.

Live balsam fir trees used for Maine Christmas wreaths are the most fragrant of all the fir varieties. Approximately 85% of Maine is forests. Forests are very important in the fight against global warming. Trees take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and release oxygen. Burning fossil fuels to produce plastics adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere contributing to global warming.

Consumers concerned about the environment should choose a live Christmas wreath over an artificial wreath as it is recyclable, renewable and less of a contributor to global warming.

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