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Most Ontarians think that a real Christmas tree is the environmental choice

Monday, December 8th 2014 11:05:29am

(December 8, 2014 Toronto, ON) This holiday season, millions of Ontarians will look to find the perfect Christmas tree for their homes. Forests Ontario would like to remind those doing the purchasing that real Christmas trees are more environmentally friendly than artificial trees.

Many Ontarians agree, according to a recent province-wide poll, commissioned by Forests Ontario. Nearly half (48.3%) of respondents selected real Christmas trees as the environmental choice. This was significantly higher than the one-third of those polled who thought artificial trees were better for the planet.

Central Ontario and Niagara/Hamilton were most in favour of the environmental merits of real trees--over 60% of respondents in each region selected real trees as the environmentally friendly choice. Interestingly, the GTA (not including Metro Toronto) was the only region of the Province that had a higher response in favour of artificial trees, however, numbers for artificial and real support in the GTA were a near even split.

“It is encouraging to see people’s awareness about the benefits of real Christmas trees trending in the right direction,” said Rob Keen, CEO of Forests Ontario. “Christmas trees are planted and harvested by hundreds of farmers across Ontario, who place a priority on long-term sustainability. They are managed in a similar fashion to the local crops that we find on our plates.”

There are many benefits of real Christmas trees:
  • Christmas trees are sustainably raised, often on marginal land that wouldn't support other types of agriculture.
  • One acre of Christmas trees produces enough oxygen to meet the daily need of 18 people.
  • Trees provide wildlife habitat and soil and water retention.
  • Christmas tree plantations act as a carbon dioxide sink.
  • 100% biodegradable.

In comparison, artificial trees are non-biodegradable, their manufacturing process requires large amounts of fossil fuels, they eventually end up in landfills and are often foreign-made. The transportation of artificial trees halfway around the world adds significantly to their overall environmental footprint.

Buying locally-grown trees further adds to the environmental benefits of real trees by eliminating much of the product transportation required. In addition, these purchases strengthen local communities. Ontario has over 600 farmers who produce more than one million Christmas trees each year.


For more information, or to schedule interviews, please contact:
Shelley McKay
Director of Communications & Development, Forests Ontario
416.619.0783 or smckay@forestsontario.ca

Forests Ontario was created in 2014 as a result of the merging of not-for-profit organizations Trees Ontario and the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA). Forests Ontario is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural lands and in urban areas as well as the renewal and stewardship of Ontario's forests through restoration, education and awareness. Visit www.forestsontario.ca or follow us @Forests_Ontario.

The 1,000-person survey by Oraclepoll Research entitled was conducted between November 10th and November 13th, 2014. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%, 19/20 times.