Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas tree statistics

On the one year anniversary of this blog, I take inspiration from one of my favorite books of all time is How to Lie With Statistics, a great little book from 1954 that will teach you how to take all numbers with a grain of salt. For example in the past year, this blog has been accessed 23,698 times.

With that in mind, I thought it poignant to consider Christmas trees, (considering that it is Christmas Eve tonight).1

Those of you with real trees will have spent an average of $34.87 for your tree, while the 9.5 million of you with fake trees, forked out $70.55 for your trees. BUT, 16% of those of you with real trees, actually cut it yourself, which definitely affected the average cost of the trees!

The 80 foot spruce at Rockefeller Center
Of course the trees of the latter group last more than one year, so perhaps they've made a good investment. The weakening economy though shows that people aren't thinking long term as sales of fake trees are down 67% from 2007, when more than 35% of houses had fake trees.

Each real tree takes on average 7 years to grow, which means that there are currently about 350 million evergreen trees growing for the coming years' Christmases.

While all of the real trees come from either the US or Canada, 80% of the fake ones are grown in China.

If you are worried about sustainability, this is from the National Christmas Tree Association:
It is much better environmentally to use a natural agricultural crop and recycle it after the holidays. Real Christmas Trees are a renewable, recyclable, natural product grown on farms throughout North America. Unfortunately many people have the misconception that Christmas Trees are cut down from the forest. Real Christmas Trees are grown as crops, just like corn or wheat, and raised on a farm. Once they are harvested, new seedlings are planted to replace harvested trees. These would NOT have been planted if trees hadn't been harvested the previous year.  Fake Christmas Trees however are a non-renewable, non-biodegradable, plastic and metal product.

Happy Holidays to all!