The Italian Almanac

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Christmas tree

Christmas Tree

Italians continue to prefer real trees at Christmas with over seven million expected to be sold this year, compared to the five million synthetic ones which will be brought out of attics or bought new, according to a report by the Coldiretti farmers' union. Real trees are also better for the environment, the union observed, because they help combat air pollution and delay climate change.

A real tree, Coldiretti explained, ''comes from a tree farm which is often located in foothills and mountain areas which would otherwise be abandoned. A tree helps combat air pollution by its ability to absorb carbon dioxide and thus contributes to reducing the greenhouse effect, which is one of the causes of global warming.'' Synthetic plastic trees, on the other hand, ''are made out of oil and take over 200 years to degrade into the environment,'' Coldiretti pointed out.

Italians this year are expected to spend some 140 million euros on real Christmas trees, most of which will be purchased the week of December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The majority of the trees sold in Italy are Italian and come from specialised tree farms, mainly located in the regions of Tuscany, Veneto and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.