Envionmental Psychology

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Environmental Psychology: Live Christmas Trees

Some environmentalists object to cutting Christmas trees, but many tree farms claim that farm-grown trees are the environmental choice because during a tree's growth period it provides many ecological benefits.

Trees control erosion, provide wildlife habitat, produce oxygen, and remove carbon dioxide and other pollutants. True, these benefits can be extended beyond the seven-to-fifteen years it takes to grow a Christmas tree, but perhaps the trees wouldn't be planted in the first place if it weren't for the Christmas tree industry. In addition, most Christmas tree farmers plant two new trees for each tree cut down.

Fake trees and wreaths are made from nonrenewable petroleum, may be manufactured with child labor in third-world countries, and can't be recycled.

If you are concerned, buy a live tree and plant it after it has re-adjusted to the outdoor climate. Keep in mind though, that live trees may suffer from temporarily living indoors and may end up dying anyway.

If you're not sure, buy a live tree, enjoy its fresh fragrance and natural appearance, and make a donation to the National Arbor Day Foundation to appease your conscience.

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