Before you decide to write-off Christmas trees all together take a look at the key facts about sustainable trees!
Christmas is an extremely wasteful time of year due to higher levels of consumption. Alongside increased food consumption and waste, Christmas trees also contribute to this negative environmental impact. In the UK, six to eight million Christmas trees are bought each year!
Understanding the environmental impact of christmas trees is key for an eco-friendly Christmas.
Real trees vs artificial trees
It can be confusing to know which tree to go for when trying to shop sustainably, and to make things even harder, both options have pros and cons.
Artificial trees can be more sustainable BUT you’d need to keep the same artificial tree for at least 10 years for it to be more sustainable than a real tree. On top of being made from plastic, artificial trees are often produced overseas and their transportation to the UK adds to the carbon footprint. They also don’t have that fresh pine smell everybody loves!
On the other hand, real trees absorb carbon while growing which reduces their carbon footprint. Purchasing a tree grown in the UK supports local businesses and can be more ethical.
But before you get your hands on one, it’s important to understand what to look out for when buying a christmas tree.
Photo: Christmas tree (Source: Unsplash)
Labels to check
When getting your Christmas tree remember to think local. Check if the tree has been locally grown, is organically produced, and is verified by the soil association. One way to do this is by checking the Tree Growers Association and Forest Stewardship Council. When disposing of your tree after Christmas check with your local council as to whether the tree will be recycled. Many councils use old trees for compost and wood chippings.
Potted tree Potted trees are an even better way to spend a sustainable christmas. It’s very simple, you buy a tree and use it during the Christmas season, when it’s time to pack your beloved ornaments away, you put it back into your garden where it can keep growing until your next Christmas!
This is a very sustainable and budget friendly option, as your tree will continuously absorb carbon and you won’t ever need to buy a christmas tree again. Additionally, you’ll love seeing your tree grow each year with your family.
However, this option is limited to households that have a garden or balcony with enough space. Could you store your friends' trees and spread some Christmas spirit?
Rent a tree
Renting a tree is similar to having a potted tree.
But instead of having the tree in your garden over the year, a local business from which you rented your tree picks it up and looks after it all year long. This option is slightly more expensive, but one of the most sustainable ways to have an eco-friendly christmas!