Is it a real tree, an artificial tree, or a moss-covered elephant?

When the holidays come, you can breathe a sigh of relief – the adorable Christmas wreaths and toy Santas and carols are calling your name.

What if the holidays come again next year? Many people consider the annual deadline of stocking up on trees back in November to be the most important decision they make as a homeowner.

The tree itself determines the type of heating units that will need to be installed in a home. Natural is the most traditional way to go – but the jury is still out on which tree to choose.

Here are some different rules:

Natural trees produce less carbon pollution during the production of the tree.

In typical forests, natural trees have deep roots and absorb carbon dioxide from the air, while artificial trees absorb less carbon because of the building process.

Natural trees produce more oxygen (which is helpful in a household) while artificial trees produce less.

Real trees are a renewable source, while artificial trees are not.

The chemistry of a real tree produces more oxygen. Artificial trees use sulfur compounds instead. This gives the trees less oxygen.

While using artificial trees in homes is convenient, they aren’t necessarily more sustainable. Sulfur dioxide emissions, which come from the solvents used to simulate the natural sugars that a real tree creates, are equivalent to 12 years of oil in 2014 dollars. That is, if all of the oil is burned.

With so many factors to consider, which type of tree will best fit your lifestyle?

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