BOONVILLE - This holiday season, one Christmas tree farm is doing its part to encourage people to turn to natural trees as a means of being more environmentally friendly.
"The real trees growing are creating oxygen in our environment," Starr Pines Christmas Tree Farm owner Ann Harmon said. "When you create an artificial tree, it is a petroleum product, so you are putting toxins into the environment."
Harmon also said growing Christmas trees stabilizes soil and protects water supplies. For people who find it tough to break off their artificial tree habits, Harmon said her business offers 50 percent off the purchase of a real tree when customers bring in their artificial tree. Harmon said once people experience a natural Christmas tree, they return each year.
Once the artificial trees are brought to Starr Pines, they recycle the artificial tree.
"Our stipulation is that it can never go out as a tree again," Harmon said.
Instead Starr Pines sends the artificial trees to someone who transforms the trees into holiday garlands and wreaths. Harmon said extra metal the trees might have is all disposed of properly.
Going green this Christmas doesn't stop at just buying a natural Christmas tree. Although LED lights are not a new trend, Columbia Water and Light's spokesperson Connie Kacprowicz said the lights are growing in popularity due to the incentives they offer, like much lower electricity consumption.
"They don't produce as much heat which is good for your Christmas tree. Doesn't dry it out as much. Not as dangerous," Kacprowicz said.
And the best part about the LED lights? Kacprowicz said using the lights could help save roughly 80 percent energy.