Real vs fake Christmas trees: what’s better for the environment?
It’s that time of year again. Christmas songs are on the radio, children are writing letters to Santa and you’ve probably already wrapped your first present. The festive season is well and truly upon us which means it’s time to start thinking about your Christmas tree.
It’s a yearly dilemma for a lot of people, do you go real or artificial? While each has its pros and cons in terms of cost and ease, there is something else that we should all be considering this year. The environmental impact.
There has been a surge of artificial tree sales this year and experts are putting the increase down to people assuming a faux tree is a better ecological choice than chopping down a beautiful real one.
Unfortunately, this isn’t case, especially when you buy your real tree locally.
Christmas trees are planted on Over Farm as a crop, so we’re not cutting one from a natural woodland or forest, and every tree that is cut will be replanted with another for you to enjoy in another 8-12 years.
Throughout its life on the farm, the tree is using up carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen to benefit us all.
The tree plantation is also a great cover for wildlife and birds, who often nest in them. The dense cover provides shelter for the little mammals and insects in the cold winter.
Whereas, you would need to use a fake Christmas tree for at least 10 years to have lower carbon emissions than its real counterpart.
The Carbon Trust estimates the carbon footprint of a two-metre artificial tree to be around 40kg CO2. That’s more than double that of a real tree that goes to landfill, and more than ten times that of real trees that are burnt.
The major environmental con to artificial Christmas trees is that they’re plastic. This means they’ve probably been made thousands of miles away and shipped around the world.
Unlike artificial trees real Christmas trees are recyclable. When Christmas is over, rather than ending up in landfill sites, real trees can be recycled or chipped and incorporated into the soil as compost to benefit future plants.
Even though a plastic tree is less hassle and can last for many years, eventually it will get tired and faded and end up in landfill, taking hundreds of years to degrade.
So, come down to Over Farm this Christmas and enjoy the fun of choosing your own tree from our large selection in the Round House, whilst also knowing you’re making the right choice for the environment.
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