"Yes they are throwing away and discarding it, but a real Christmas tree does get one more useful life where its chipped and mulched down," said Meyers. "They are used here on site for reestablishing vegetation in the areas of the landfill that then get closed out."
Using a real tree benefits the environment, but using artificial trees may still be the preferred option.
Jared Marrone of Plattsburgh said his family chooses to use an artificial tree because it can be reused annually and for the safety of his two small children.
"With Isabella just starting to walk, if we had a real tree I worry that the needles on the tree would hurt her or if the needles fall on the floor she could put them in her mouth," said Marrone. "Because our tree has soft needles and doesn't shed I don't have to worry about that."
When it comes down to it, the DEC suggests keeping your pink glittery tree, as long as you keep it for years to come and not dispose of it too soon, because it's not biodegradable and it can't be recycled.
But if you prefer the real deal, feel no guilt.