With the holiday season upon us the question to ask for those that celebrate the Christmas season – do you buy a real Christmas tree or a fake one? Which is the more prudent environmental choice? Artificial trees are typically manufactured with metal and polyvinyl chloride, a petroleum based plastic that is non-biodegradable. Additionally, 85 percent of all artificial trees sold in the U.S. are imported from China, not something that helps its environmental carbon footprint. Real trees on the other hand provide quite a few environmental benefits. One farmed raised Christmas tree can absorb one ton of CO2 throughout its lifetime. There are 350 million Christmas trees growing in U.S. tree farms. Imagine the carbon sequestering. Each acre of trees produces enough oxygen for the daily needs of 18 people. Growers of Christmas trees need to use sustainable farming techniques. For each tree harvested, one to three seedlings are planted the following spring, always ensuring a healthy supply of trees. Even when the season is over and the tree is spent from holding up the lights and ornaments, “treecycling” kicks in, the act of recycling a Christmas tree. “Treecycling” is an easy way to return a renewable and natural source back to the environment instead of disposing it in a landfill, where decomposition rates are slowed due to lack of oxygen. Christmas trees are recycled into mulch and used in landscaping and gardening or chipped and used for playground material, hiking trails, paths and walkways. They can be used for beachfront erosion prevention, lake and river shoreline stabilization and fish and wildlife habitat. For a greener Christmas tree go with the real thing, and not the artificial stuff.