The jury is still out on whether real or artificial trees are kinder to the environment. Artificial trees can be used year after year, but are often made of plastic-based substances. Having a real tree involves chopping down a living tree and disposing of it afterwards – but they do soak up greenhouse gases whilst they’re growing. A real tree in a pot is a good option if you have the money and look after it well. A more recent development is that some companies are now renting out trees for the Christmas season!
Plastic is such a problem for the planet, we’d avoid buying a new artificial tree made from plastic. If you already have one, get as much life out of it as possible.
If you’re buying a tree this year here are some options:
1. Buy a real tree from a well-managed source – on the British Christmas Tree Growers Association website you can put in your postcode and find a local member of the association. Do remember to dispose of your tree carefully – see our section on waste disposal.
2. Buy a real tree in a pot and plant it in the garden afterwards (or give it to someone who will). You’ll need to water the tree over the festive season and ensure it doesn’t get too hot. See the RHS website for advice on potted Christmas tree care.
3. Rent a tree – you can find suppliers by searching for ‘rent a Christmas tree’ online – do try and choose a local one.
4. Try an ‘alternative’ Christmas tree – see our Pinterest board for ideas:
The Woodland Trust also has a great blog post on the subject: “Christmas card and tree buying and recycling”