Plastic trees: are made in China using PVC (polyvinyl chloride), the worst plastic there is! Vinyl chloride is known to be a carcinogen and creates massive amounts of harmful and hazardous dioxins during manufacturing, and in disposal. Many products made using PVC are stabilized using lead, which is harmful to those who ingest fumes or dust coming from the tree or other product made with PVC. On top of manufacturing and disposal implications, there are the effects of transporting these products from their source in China. Plus, there’s no denying that plastic trees do not have a rich, fragrant smell of outdoors, and certainly struggle to look as healthy and glowing as a live tree.
Real trees: can be bought pre-cut, or, you can cut one down yourself at a local U-pick business. These fast and easy-to-grow trees are grown for the single purpose of being your living room feature during the holidays. Not only do you have the aroma of a fresh tree in your home, you’ve purchased a tree that helped to clean the air of the carbon dioxide emissions from the planes bringing fake trees from China! Real trees of course, unlike fake trees, don’t generate harmful dust or fumes, and so are safe to have in the home.
Your best bet, though, is to decorate a regular house plant or use a real potted tree so it can be re-planted in the spring (and then used again next year!), or just decorate the trees outside your house and have a special area for gifts inside the house.