Is a real or fake Christmas tree more sustainable?
'Tis the season of holiday cheer, and that means it's time to pick out the perfect Christmas tree. But with so many options available, it can be hard to decide which one is best for you. Should you get a real tree or an artificial one? Which one is more sustainable?
The argument for a real tree
Although cutting down a perfectly happy pine may not seem like the most sustainable thing to do, they actually have a much lower carbon footprint than the artificial equivalents. One real tree, put in landfill has a carbon footprint half that of an artificial tree. And if the tree is disposed of properly the carbon footprint is 10x lower. This can be even higher if the tree is grown in the UK with a farm with a FSC certification. There is now also the choice of buying Christmas trees in pots and renting Christmas trees, so they can last for years and years.
The argument for a fake tree
Although fake trees tend to have higher carbon footprints, if it’s kept for over 10 years it could theoretically have a lower lifetime carbon footprint than having a real tree every year. There are also some on the market made from recycled PVC.
A rented Christmas tree, in a pot, from a farm based in the UK, with a FSC certification would get you an A* on the sustainability scale. But a real tree from any UK farm is a close second best. If you already have an artificial tree - look after it to give it as long of a life as possible but, once it’s past its prime a real tree is the way to go.