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Fake Trees? No Thanks.

Fake seems to have a bad rep nowadays. Fake designer bags, fake gold, fake teeth- despite a generally smaller price tag, these imitations just don’t get the same respect as their ‘real’ counterparts. Americans are usually down for a bargain, but when it comes down to it, they want the real thing. But what if fake was a good thing? What if fake could save the environment? Skeptical? I was too.

Allow me to introduce to you…the fake tree. Developed by a company called Global Research Technologies, the ‘tree’ is constructed out of plastic with leaves that capture carbon dioxide in the air and store it in a chamber located in the center of the tree. The Co2 is then compressed into a liquid form. The company speculates that the liquid can be used for fuel or be applied to crops to promote growth. The tree is estimated to absorb 1000 times more carbon than a real tree. So it turns out that not all fake things are evil. At least not on the surface.

Although the synthetic tree has quite promising achievements, is it truly as eco-friendly and all-powerful as it seems? Not quite sure. Because the tree is made mostly of plastic, construction would require using a lot of this precious resource and the company did not mention the use of recycled plastic as a building material. The use of plastic would only deepen our dependence on petroleum. And in times where gas prices are high and supply is dwindling, this may not be such a good idea.

Another flaw of these plastic plants is that they will take up space. And a lot of it. Why not utilize this space for planting real trees?-Trees that can not only reduce carbon emissions but also beautify the landscape and benefit both humans and ecosystems alike. Besides, who would want to climb a plastic tree? Or build a tree house in one? Not only would these trees not be aesthetically pleasing, they would destroy childhood pastimes as we know them.

Generally, fake can be good. Fake can save money, resources, and even reduce carbon emissions. And although the synthetic trees proposed by Global Research Technologies are a good idea in theory, in practice, they will only contribute to the use of more resources, more space, and ultimately extend the need for oil. So when it comes to trees, real please.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30251856/


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