Thursday, December 7, 2023

Practically Living Green

Showing practical reasons to live green.

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Why I Switched to a Plastic Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is a symbol of the holidays. And although I was brought up picking a cut tree from a parking lot, I’ve changed a bit in my old age. So, why have I switched to buying a plastic Christmas tree instead?

The holidays are my favorite part of the year. From October 1st through January 5th, I’m like a giddy kid during the season. And I’ve been threatening to set up the tree since June.

And when you think about it, that’s just not practical to do if you use a cut tree top. It’ll be a fire hazard before the end of July.

But, that’s not the reason I love my plastic Christmas tree.

5 Benefits of the Plastic Christmas Tree

I usually leave the tree up throughout January and dread taking down the decorations. Not because I’m lazy, but because I love the season so much.

A Christmas tree, at least for me, is a symbol of humanity and caring. Maybe that’s why I would keep the tree up year-round if I could.

But, it’s just not practical considering how cut trees become easily combustible after a period of time.

So, why did I start investing in a plastic Christmas tree?

1. Less Mess to Clean Up…ish

First of all, a plastic tree has far less of a mess to clean up afterward. Instead of pine needles being scattered all over the living room floor, I only have to contend with the cats taking off with ornaments.

Not to mention getting sap and what-not all over me while trying to set up a cut tree.

In the end, it takes far less time to take the plastic Christmas tree down than it does for a cut one, especially when it comes time for the cleanup.

2. They “Live” Longer than 6 Weeks

A plastic tree will remain the same for many years if properly cared for. The tree I buy today doesn’t need water, won’t dry out, and always remains green.

But, isn’t that a bit boring?

Not really. If you rotate the tree every year, it looks different. Besides, each time you decorate the tree, the ornaments are always in a different place.

You don’t really notice that it’s the same tree year-after-year.

3. Fancy, Programmable Lights

Nowadays, you can get plastic Christmas trees with programmable lights. It’s a bit on the fancy side, but it does make the tree a bit more fun.

And since many of the nice one’s today use LEDs, the lights will last for decades and are far less fragile. This means the tree will also consume less power while generating less heat.

With a tap of a button, I can adjust what colors are on the tree. This means each season can be even more unique depending on my mood.

4. Saving Money Over the Long-Term

Let’s look at the more practical reason to get a green plastic Christmas tree. In reality, it’ll save a ton of money over the years.

For the size of the tree I want in the living room, it’ll cost anywhere from $50 to $100 from a lot. And that’s a per-year cost.

For $300 at Home Depot, I can get a tree that will last almost forever depending on the care. So, in about four years, the tree already paid for itself and then some.

But what about lights? If the LEDs burn out or something happens to the string, it’s actually easy to replace the lights on a plastic tree. It’s really no different than a regular one.

5. Some Look Realistic

The cheap, plastic Christmas trees, I admit, don’t look all that real. Sure, they have branches and are colored to look like a living tree. But it doesn’t take long to tell they are not.

However, a lot of the more expensive trees are designed to appear as a real pine. And the one I am getting this year actually comes with plastic berries and pine cones.

But, that’s the difference between a $30 plastic tree and spending $300.

I Get Upset About Cutting Down Any Tree

No, I’m not some “save the trees” treehugger. But, I do feel bad every time someone cuts down a tree. I’m not entirely sure why, but it affects me deeply.

I remember when neighbors cut down this massive, beautiful oak in front of their house. It was like giving the property a botched facelift.

Not only do trees contribute to scrubbing the atmosphere of CO2, they provide shade to help houses stay cool during the summer. Much like an outdoor living wall.

They provide habitat for all the birds and squirrels I feed. And they make the word look a little less like a trash heap, especially in the city.

What About a Living Tree?

I’m not averse to having a living tree in the house for Christmas. But the size of the tree I’d like would mean having a massive pot for the root system.

And I wouldn’t mind planting it outside after the holiday season. But the trees places like Walmart sell are Norfolk pines. These are tropical trees and do not stand a chance outside in Colorado.

Perhaps the biggest reason why I prefer a plastic Christmas tree to a living one is the size. To grow an 8-foot tree, I’d need a very large pot in the living room for roots to expand.

Do You Have a Plastic Christmas Tree?

It’s funny how people change throughout their lives. I remember back when I thought plastic Christmas trees were simply “lazy” and “silly.”

But as you grow older and realize the practical budget of having a plastic tree, your mind changes. Especially if you lived most of your life well under the poverty level.

There’s nothing wrong with a plastic tree. It’s all about the symbol it represents.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been interested in the practicality of living green for quite some time. He works closely with GreenGeeks Web Hosting as the Content Marketing Team Lead and an author of various articles.

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