O Tannenbomb: Merry Dangerous Christmas

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Teddy Roosevelt banned Christmas trees from the White House, believing the tradition depleted the nation’s forests. But fake trees, once such a promising contender, have proved toxic as well as tacky. Merry Christmas!

 

CUT

FAKE

Market

$1.4 billion

$670 million

Dirty Business

Produce oxygen, but require tons of pesticides and herbicides.

85% imported from China; most made with PVC, a toxic plastic. Some contain lead.

That Warm Feeling

Christmas tree fires cause some $16 million in property damage each year. 13% happen in February or later.

Many are flame retardant. If you manage to set one on fire, it will burn very hot and emit toxins such as dioxin.

Christmas in the ER

Each year, about 11,000 people are treated for injuries from hanging ornaments and holiday decorations.

7.5-foot SimpliciTree comes with more than 60 ornaments and 600 lights, and is run by remote control.

Treevival?

Industry says 93% are recycled via community programs.

Come with 5-year warranties, stay in landfills for centuries.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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