O Tannenbomb: Merry Dangerous Christmas

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily 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.

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

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