How to choose an environmentally friendly Christmas tree
We all know we need to use less plastic, but we’re also aware that we need to preserve trees to save the planet too. So which is the most eco Christmas tree – real or plastic? Let’s take a look at the evidence…
Plastic Christmas trees
Fake trees can be used year after year, which is a bonus, but they’re not sustainable Christmas trees because they’re made out of plastics that are very difficult to recycle. However, if you already have a plastic tree, that doesn’t mean you should throw it away. That would be even worse for the planet because it would make its way to landfill even sooner. Make your tree last for as many years as you can to be as environmentally friendly as possible.
Of course, some people prefer a plastic tree to a needle-shedding real one due to genuine concerns, such as allergies, young children, or pets. If this is you, try to make your tree last for as many Christmases as possible and when you need a new one, check out local selling pages for second-hand trees. You would be amazed how many people give away or sell ones in tip-top condition, which is great for your pocket as well as the planet.
Real Christmas trees
For some people, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a real tree. Choosing it, lugging it home and decorating it are all part of the festive experience. The good news is that real trees can be sustainable, so long as you buy them from the right place and dispose of them correctly.
Look for trees that are grown locally and sustainably, which means more trees are grown to take their place after they are chopped down. If you buy a tree that is sourced from further away or imported, then its carbon foorprint will be higher because it has to be driven or flown to you. A locally grown tree has a lower carbon footprint and when you buy one, you give custom to a local business too.
After Christmas is over, make sure you dispose of your tree correctly. Check if your local council collects trees from your doorstep or allows you to take them to a recycling plant. Never place real trees in the general waste because they will be sent to landfill, where they will release harmful gases such as methane as they break down.
If you’re lucky, you might have a business near you that sells potted trees that they collect after Christmas each year and replant back in the ground. Next Christmas, you get your tree back to display in your home again. This is very sustainable because you don’t have to chop the tree down or dispose of it. It’s also a lovely tradition that allows you to have your very own real tree each year.
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