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.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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