The holidays are almost here, and while many of us have already picked and decorated our Christmas trees, there are still those who haven’t set up theirs. Some like to postpone the task. Others still can’t find the time. However, there is a third group that can’t make up their minds about what type of tree to get – real or fake.
If you fall into the last category, don’t you worry – we are here to make your choice a lot easier by answering all of your questions, starting with…
Are live Christmas trees bad for the environment?
At its core, cutting down a whole tree may feel unnecessary and even downright bad for the environment. However, this isn’t exactly the truth. It may come as a surprise (a good one) that many trees in the UK are specially planted and farmed responsibly for Christmas. For example, many manufacturers plant an X number of trees for every one they cut down.
Also, it’s important to note that trees that are planted for the winter holidays actually do a lot of good for the environment by only growing – for example, they lower the carbon dioxide levels in the air and emit fresh oxygen.
So, by buying a live Christmas tree, not only are you not hurting the planet – you are giving it a helping hand.
What is more sustainable: Real or fake trees?
The short answer is: real Christmas trees are far more sustainable. As we’ve already mentioned, while cutting down a whole tree just to have it as a decoration for the holidays may sound non-eco-friendly, it’s the better option. Live trees have a smaller carbon footprint and are better for the environment.
Fake Christmas trees are often made from practically unrecyclable materials and do a lot of harm when disposed of. To give you a better picture, an artificial tree’s carbon footprint is 40 kg of CO2, while that of a real one is only 3.5 kg of CO2. That is no small difference.
The benefits of having a real Christmas tree
Besides looking festive and smelling amazing, real Christmas trees have a long list of other benefits, both environmental and health-related. That being said, if you still haven’t made up your mind if you want to switch to a live tree for the holidays or not, check out some of the perks of buying a natural Christmas tree below:
The carbon footprint is significantly lower
One of the many benefits of having a real tree for the holidays is its significantly lower carbon footprint. Of course, how the tree will be disposed of afterwards also affects the impact that it will leave on the environment. That said, even the worst real tree disposal method out there will be less harmful than that of a fake one.
Real Christmas trees are biodegradable and recyclable
Real Christmas trees are biodegradable and recyclable, which, again, means that investing in one will be far better for Mother Nature than buying the fake version. When the time to take down and dispose of your tree comes, you can either get imaginative and create something for your home, use it for firewood, or look up recycling programs in your area.
You can get a potted tree
If you are committed to having the most sustainable Christmas possible, you can opt for a potted tree. They are carbon neutral and renewable, which makes them environmentally friendly. The best part of potted trees is that if you take the time to learn more about them and provide them with the proper conditions during their stay at your home, you can plant them in your garden afterwards.
It’s better for your health
Investing in a real Christmas tree this holiday season is not only better for the environment – it’s also better for your health. Trees produce natural oils, called phytoncides, which have been proven to be very beneficial for the human body. From making you feel more relaxed and calm to improving your sleep, a real Christmas tree in your home is definitely the better alternative.
Ways to recycle your real Christmas tree
Now that we’ve talked about why it’s better to have a real tree for the holidays, there is another important topic that we need to cover – how to recycle the plant once Christmas is over.
There are many fast and easy options out there, including hiring a company to remove and dispose of the tree. However, if you are the type of person who likes doing things themselves, we’ve got you. Here are four great Christmas tree recycling options to try out:
Plant it in your garden
As we’ve already mentioned, if you decide to get a potted Christmas tree, you’ll have the great option to plant it in your garden afterwards. Just remember that for this to be possible, you’ll need to take extra good care of your tree while it’s indoors. Otherwise, there is a high risk of it not surviving afterwards.
Make organic mulch
Another great way to recycle your Christmas tree is by transforming it into mulch for your garden. The wood and pine needles mixture will do wonders for your green space. Note that the only thing you’ll need is a shredder. If you don’t have one but don’t want to spend the extra money, you can always rent the machine.
Create a bird feeder
Do you want to help wildlife during the winter months? Then bring your tree outside, and make it a bird feeder. This is an enjoyable project, which you can take on with your kids. You can make edible ornaments by slicing pieces of fruit and tying them with a string, covering pinecones in organic peanut butter and seeds, or by stringing popcorn.
Use it as insulation for other plants
You can use the Christmas tree to protect other plants in your garden from the cold. Chop the tree’s branches so that they are more manageable, and lay them on top of your plants. Just make sure that the branches are not heavy – you don’t want to squish and damage your green friends, right?
Are You Getting A Real Christmas Tree This Year?
Implementing sustainable practices into your daily life can significantly impact the environment more than you think. That being said, getting a real Christmas tree for your home is an excellent way to start your journey to helping Mother Nature. After all, why not make the small yet significant change? Your home will be even more festive and the planet – a bit safer.