Go natural this Christmas

David Baker lives in a small apartment in Toronto. Knowing the restrictions of his living space and recalling the Christmas habits of his family, most often Baker found it easier just to buy an artificial tree.

“I grew up with my Nan always pulling out the fake tree,” Baker said. “So naturally when it was my turn to buy my first tree I went with the artificial choice.”

This year however, after hearing from his friends that a natural tree was actually better for the environment, Baker purchased his first real Christmas tree.

“I wanted to see what the fuss was all about,” Baker explained. “I love this tree. It’s nice to have the whole house smell this great for Christmas.”

Jennifer Foulds is a spokesperson for Environmental Defence, a lobby group that has drawn attention to environmentally friendly behaviour for 25 years.

The National Christmas Tree Association, an organization focused on promoting real Christmas trees has been holding a weekly poll on their website. According to the poll, close to 70 per cent of Christmas trees purchased this year will be real trees.

The poll also posed the question of what pollsters thought was more environmentally friendly -real or fake. The results found on their website show that only 12 per cent of people really do believe a fake tree is more earth friendly.

Foulds would also agree.

“There are toxic chemicals in the plastic that can be extremely harmful and the production of the trees emit pollutions as well,” Foulds said.

Brandon Renault works for Organic Christmas trees, a tree farm located in Midland. They have a Christmas tree display outside of Tim and Sue’s No Frills on Pacific Avenue in the west end.

Renault explained that all the trees cut down are replaced with new seedlings, which offer a new home for wildlife and continue to release oxygen into the air. He also feels that people want that pine smell in their homes as much as he does.

“Every year my family cuts down their own tree. It’s apart of our Christmas,” Renault said.

Baker likes this year’s natural Christmas tree. He plans to find the best way to get rid of his artificial tree.

“If I had known how bad it was to buy the fake one, I would never have done it in the first place,” Baker said.