'Tis the season for festive debates, and among them, the sustainability face-off between artificial and real Christmas trees. First let's unwrap the sustainability pros and cons, then get to the science and then The Golden Rules.
Artificial Trees: A Plastic Predicament
Consistent Carbon Footprint:
Real Trees: Nature's Festive Fling
Carbon Capture Crusaders:
The Sustainable Science
Ultimately which is more sustainable, from a full lifecycle carbon perspective, depends on the following factors:
- How many times you use the artificial tree
- How far both types of tree had to travel to get to you
- What you do with the tree after you no longer want it
The Golden Rules
Which brings us to the golden tinsel rules of Christmas tree-purchasing
- Purchase a locally grown or made tree if possible
- If you purchase an artificial tree, commit to using for at least 6-9 years. And conversely, if you think you’ll be buying real trees for 9 years or more, consider an artificial tree instead
- Avoid sending your real tree to landfill! Find a way to mulch or compost it instead
Rent a tree! This service is becoming increasingly common around the world. Or make one from waste, found objects and a lot of love.