Christmas tradition turns reusable 

Festive decorations around the home distinguish many American family traditions during the holiday season, and the most renowned decoration is the Christmas tree. The popularity of the natural, non-synthetic Christmas tree, however, is beginning to decline, as more people transition to artificial Christmas trees. While some critics claim that artificial trees have a negative environmental impact, studies show that purchasing an artificial tree could have a positive impact on the environment if a household reuses it annually, according to This small change will help the United States become a more environmentally conscious country during the holiday season.
There are many physical differences between a real Christmas tree and an artificial Christmas tree. Courtesy
In recent years, more and more families have been purchasing artificial trees in stores, instead of traveling to a Christmas tree farm to buy an authentic tree.
In 2016, customers bought a total of 27.4 million natural Christmas trees, along with another 18.6 million artificial trees, according to statista.comThe rate at which consumers are purchasing artificial trees over real ones demonstrates the number of families buying artificial Christmas trees may soon surpass those purchasing real ones.
Choosing artificial trees is a step in the United States’ efforts to become a more environmentally friendly place. Despite foregoing the tradition of picking out a tree with the family, an artificial tree fulfills the same purpose of decoration during the holiday season, and ultimately, is the same familiar, beloved Christmas symbol.
In an interview with The New York TimesMr. Jean-Sebastien Trudel, who analyzed the natural and artificial Christmas tree markets in Canada, states that the natural tree is the better option because it emits less carbonThe annual carbon emissions of using a real tree are just one-third of those created by an artificial tree over a typical six-year span, according to The New York Times.
Studies show an increase in the purchase of artificial trees over the years. Courtesy of
Yet, households can use an artificial tree for up to 20 years if used responsibly. For each family to receive the natural Christmas tree they desire, tree farms must cut down over 350 million Christmas trees annually, and tree farms that are not locally sourced are not always a sustainable business, according to 
If families use artificial trees to their maximum potential, it could notably decrease the amount of trees tree farms cut down for the holiday season, and, thus, reduce water use and the amount of fertilizer and pesticides that pollute groundwater and runoff, according to earth911.comDue to the potential environmental harm during the farming and transportation of a living tree, the popularity of artificial trees should continue to grow during the holiday season
It is important for every American to think about the effects of Christmas traditions on the environment. Christmas is beginning to transform into a more environmentally-friendly holiday, which shows that tradition does not have to be completely compromised to improve Christmas’ environmental footprint.