Christmas trees, along with the presents nestled beneath them, and the decorations around the home, are all a part of creating the festive spirit of the season. But having high spirits doesn’t have to mean a high carbon footprint. This is the first of a series of posts about how to make your Christmas more sustainable.
So is a real or artificial tree the most sustainable option? A common misconception is that artificial trees are better for the environment. According to the Carbon Trust, a real Christmas tree has a significantly lower carbon footprint than an artificial tree, especially if it is disposed of properly, by chipping or burning. The City of Edinburgh Council collects real trees for recycling on designated days after the holidays, and turns them into compost, so keep an eye out for information on when/where to put them out. Make sure you remove all the decorations, and cut them in half if they’re over 6 feet tall.
If you choose an artificial Christmas tree, then you would need to use this for around 10 years for its environmental impact to be lower than real trees, so keep reusing it.