Ahh, the Christmas tree… One of the most magical parts of the holiday season! But how does it impact the environment? Here are some tips for choosing a more eco-friendly Christmas tree this year…
Obviously, your Christmas tree is a huge part of what makes Christmas so special and memorable. We all have special memories of sitting around the tree on Christmas morning, with wrapping paper strewn around… Unfortunately, your choice of tree can also be a huge part of your Christmas carbon footprint!
There are several options to consider when looking for Christmas trees, and each one has a different impact on the environment. Here’s how they stack up, when it comes to environmental friendliness:
Artificial Christmas Trees
Artificial Christmas trees aren’t the most environmentally friendly Christmas choice, due to the energy that goes into their production and the materials they use. However, if you choose wisely, an artificial tree can be something you’ll use for years and years to come – reducing the impact it will have in the long-term.
If you choose to go the artificial route then make sure you buy a quality tree that will last. You’ll also need to have a place to store it safely in between Christmases. If you really want to reduce the impact your tree has, try finding a second-hand reusable artificial tree for sale.
Cut Real Trees
Cut trees are one of the most common types of Christmas tree, and are very traditional. Picking your own tree is always fun and, once you have it at home, it’ll give off a wonderful smell! Not to mention the fact that you can choose the exact kind of tree you want from a wide range of different shapes, colors and varieties.
Unfortunately, this isn’t a great choice for the environment overall. Cut trees cannot be used year after year, so you are cutting (and disposing of) a new tree every Christmas.
A far more environmentally friendly Christmas tree choice would be to choose live trees that can be planted outside once the holidays are over. This is far less wasteful than buying a cut tree, as the tree will keep on growing even after the holidays. There are some drawbacks, though, such as the fact that you’ll need to hide the roots in a suitable container while you’ve got it inside, and it’ll cost more. And you’ll have to be careful that your home isn’t too warm for the tree to stay healthy until you have time to move it outside and plant it. You will also need to make sure you have a place to plant it – and if you do this every year, you may run out of space eventually. It can also be a chore to plant a sizable tree in the freezing cold, but if the whole family helps, you can make it an experience, and you’ll be able to watch your Christmas trees grow year after year!
Recycling Old Christmas Trees
If you still want to buy a cut Christmas tree then you can at least reduce the negative impact it has by recycling it once the holidays are finished. For example, you could use the tree for projects in your home that require wood, or you can turn the tree into mulch using a local Christmas tree recycling service. This is a great option if you have a yard, as you can use your old trees to mulch your trees and shrubs, thereby reducing weeds and erosion, and providing nutrients for your plants.
Choosing an eco-friendly Christmas tree really is a big decision with a number of different factors to consider. Give it some careful thought, and do the best you can to help minimize the environmental impact of the tree you choose this year. In the end, both your family and the planet will benefit!