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Natural or artificial Christmas tree: Which one pollutes less and why?

by Yucatan Times
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person holding beige bauble near christmas tree

Are you about to put up your Christmas tree? Before you do, we recommend you to read the following information so you can give “a hand” to the environment when decorating your home.

As every year, for the Christmas holidays a dilemma arises among Mexicans: Which one pollutes more, the artificial one or the natural one?

If you still don’t have a clear answer, take a look at the recommendations given by experts on this subject.

Christmas tree, natural or artificial?

You might think that artificial trees generate less pollution, but apparently we have lived deceived, since according to National Geographic, it is much more sustainable pine trees that live in forests.

“Every environmental group and scientist says we should use a real tree. There’s no debate there,” said Rick Dungey, spokesman for the National Christmas Tree Association of the United States.

Why is it better to decorate a natural tree for Christmas?

Artificial Christmas trees are made from a plastic known as polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, a petroleum derivative that often contains lead.

Most of these are manufactured in China and must cross oceans to be shipped to various countries. To add points against artificial trees, they are transported on ships with diesel-powered engines, which generate more greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, it was found that an artificial tree must be reused for at least 20 years to be more environmentally friendly than a natural one.

Despite the fact that millions of pine trees are cut down every year to bring home the aroma of Christmas, research is currently being carried out with new technologies that allow these trees to generate seeds as early as four years old and not at 40 years old, as was previously the case.

When is the Christmas tree put up?

For Catholics, the exact date is Immaculate Conception Day, that is, December 8.

The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a belief of the Catholic religion decreed in 1854 by Pope Pius IX, which holds that the Virgin Mary, mother of the child Jesus, was free of all sin before, during and after the birth of Jesus.

Another tradition holds that December 1 marks the beginning of a new month and the official start of the Christmas season. According to the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, if you choose to decorate a real evergreen tree, this is also an ideal date, as buying one earlier will leave it dry and dull.

The Christian faith honors the season of Advent, which begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. For that reason, many families choose to put up their tree at the beginning, which this year falls on Sunday, November 27.

When is the Christmas tree taken down?

Although there is no specific date for its removal, Catholic beliefs and traditions state that the Christmas tree should be taken down on Three Kings Day, that is, January 6.

This is because after this date there are no more celebrations pending, therefore, the Christmas season is over and it is considered the ideal time to remove it.

However, other Catholics believe that it is best to leave the Christmas tree until the following Sunday after Three Kings Day, that is, January 12.

There are even those who prefer to leave the tree up until February 2, when the Virgen de Candelaria Day is celebrated, which is when the Christmas season officially ends.

TYT Newsroom

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