Fake Christmas Trees

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razlem
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Fake Christmas Trees

Postby razlem » 2013-08-23, 1:53

Are plastic trees used in your region during Christmas?
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby Lada » 2013-08-23, 16:18

Yes, some people buy plastic trees, some people buy natural ones. In shops/offices, only plastic trees are used. Isn't it a usual thing everywhere?

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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby Johanna » 2013-08-23, 17:57

Yep, they are.

Plastic trees aren't really seen as an actual Christmas trees though, but something you get because you're lazy (even if it's just that you don't feel like buying a new tree every single year), poor (even if it's just that you think that you have better things to spend your money on than buying a new tree every single year), or because you're allergic to European spruce, which is the tree used here.
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby Dormouse559 » 2013-08-23, 18:37

Plastic trees are used over here. As a matter of fact, my family uses one. :)

I don't think there's as strong a stigma against them here, compared to Johanna's experience. They're thought of as labor-saving as opposed to evidence of laziness. They're also viewed as better for the environment, since you can reuse them for years.
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-23, 19:10

Dormouse559 wrote:They're also viewed as better for the environment, since you can reuse them for years.

Really? I thought plenty of people considered real trees better because they're "natural". We compost ours.
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby Dormouse559 » 2013-08-23, 19:12

linguoboy wrote:Really? I thought plenty of people considered real trees better because they're "natural". We compost ours.
I'm sure there are plenty of both opinions. Both have pros and cons to them.
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby Levike » 2013-08-23, 19:18

We have both fake and normal trees. ( as any other place )

The actual trees are seen as better ( 'cause they're real )
but some people buy fake ones because they don't afford it every year or even because of laziness.
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-23, 19:30

Dormouse559 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Really? I thought plenty of people considered real trees better because they're "natural". We compost ours.
I'm sure there are plenty of both opinions. Both have pros and cons to them.

But it looks like there are more cons to plastic trees. This New York Times article cites a study that says you'd have to use a plastic tree for an average of 20 years to make it as green as real wood. Recent articles in Slate and the Guardian came to similar conclusions.

What I'd like to have is a living tree that we simply dress up every year, but evergreens are notoriously difficult houseplants. We haven't gotten one to survive from one holiday to the next yet.
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby Dormouse559 » 2013-08-23, 19:44

linguoboy wrote:
Dormouse559 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:Really? I thought plenty of people considered real trees better because they're "natural". We compost ours.
I'm sure there are plenty of both opinions. Both have pros and cons to them.

But it looks like there are more cons to plastic trees. This New York Times article cites a study that says you'd have to use a plastic tree for an average of 20 years to make it as green as real wood. Recent articles in Slate and the Guardian came to similar conclusions.
Oy! I really didn't intend this. I wasn't originally talking about what view is true, just what views people have. You'll note that the article features a consumer who thinks her choice is environmentally friendly.
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-23, 20:00

Dormouse559 wrote:Oy! I really didn't intend this. I wasn't originally talking about what view is true, just what views people have. You'll note that the article features a consumer who thinks her choice is environmentally friendly.

Yeah, it's not something I've given much thought to myself. But I vaguely recalled hearing robust arguments on both sides and it's slow at work right now so I decided to check them out.
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby Hoogstwaarschijnlijk » 2013-08-23, 20:09

I think they're becoming more popular here, I also got one myself. They're cheaper, you can re-use them and they're considered to be better for the environment than killing a tree each year.
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-23, 20:51

Hoogstwaarschijnlijk wrote:I think they're becoming more popular here, I also got one myself. They're cheaper, you can re-use them and they're considered to be better for the environment than killing a tree each year.

The thing is, those trees are raised to be killed. It's like with paper: People like to talk about how they're "saving trees" when over 90% of the trees used to produce pulp were planted explicitly for that purpose. If you use less paper (or buy fewer real Christmas trees), they'll just plant fewer, which is hard to spin as a net win for environmentalism.
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby Car » 2013-08-24, 12:59

No, they're not used here at all. I've never seen one. Like linguboy wrote, real trees are raised for that purpose, so it's not bad for the environment.
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby Lazar Taxon » 2013-08-24, 17:25

At least within my family, the main argument that I've heard in favor of artificial trees is that real trees can be a fire hazard.
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby Mars80 » 2013-08-24, 18:01

I prefer to use an artificial tree myself.

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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby Marah » 2013-08-26, 7:27

linguoboy wrote:The thing is, those trees are raised to be killed. It's like with paper: People like to talk about how they're "saving trees" when over 90% of the trees used to produce pulp were planted explicitly for that purpose. If you use less paper (or buy fewer real Christmas trees), they'll just plant fewer, which is hard to spin as a net win for environmentalism.


Unless you decide to chop it yourself!
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-26, 13:00

Marah wrote:
linguoboy wrote:The thing is, those trees are raised to be killed. It's like with paper: People like to talk about how they're "saving trees" when over 90% of the trees used to produce pulp were planted explicitly for that purpose. If you use less paper (or buy fewer real Christmas trees), they'll just plant fewer, which is hard to spin as a net win for environmentalism.

Unless you decide to chop it yourself!

How does that make a difference? You mean because of the fuel cost of travelling to and from the woodlot?

If you cast an eye on the articles and studies I linked to, you'll find that this is the chief variable which affects the "greenness" of real trees. But, IME, most urban dwellers don't drive well out of town to cut their own, they buy from a lot. My sisters' family was exceptional, since they regularly went to the lot near where we used to live (an hour outside the city) rather than someplace closer.

But, again, that calculus depends on considering that drive solely for the purpose of obtaining the tree. At that, it's horribly inefficient. But what if the purpose is obtaining the experience of cutting the tree? After all, people drive to pick-your-own orchards even though buying apples in the store is an incomparably superior alotment of time and resources. And they take drives in the country or go hiking with the aim of bringing nothing at all back. Really, the tree-cutting expedition was an excuse for an outing into the countryside. And, hey, we got a tree while we were out there!
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby md0 » 2013-08-29, 5:20

Over here, having a real Christmas tree is an indication you are a pretentious fuck (technical term).
But the reason for that is probably that we have very few forests and they are constantly on fire.
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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby mōdgethanc » 2013-08-29, 18:07

meidei wrote:Over here, having a real Christmas tree is an indication you are a pretentious fuck (technical term).
But the reason for that is probably that we have very few forests and they are constantly on fire.
Why do you need Christmas trees? That sounds like it must be a recent trend, since it has its origins in Northern Europe.

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Re: Fake Christmas Trees

Postby linguoboy » 2013-08-29, 18:51

mōdgethanc wrote:Why do you need Christmas trees? That sounds like it must be a recent trend, since it has its origins in Northern Europe.

I blame the English.
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