O Tannenbomb: Merry Dangerous Christmas

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


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.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate