The Christmas season is almost here. It's time to think of sustainable ways to celebrate Christmas. Choosing between a real Christmas tree and an artificial Christmas tree has been a dilemma for several years. Let's take a look at the environmental impacts of real Christmas trees, artificial Christmas trees and potted Christmas trees, and see which tree is best to celebrate the festive season without doing too much harm to Mother Nature. Let's have an eco-friendly Christmas this year.
Sustainable Christmas tree
A Christmas tree is the number one decoration you bring into your home during the Holiday season. Did it ever cross your mind that a Christmas tree has a lot of impact on the environment? All Christmas trees, whether it's real, fake or potted, have some carbon footprint.
What's more sustainable, a real or fake Christmas tree?
We wish that answering whether a real or a fake tree is better for the environment was easier. But the reality is more complex.
Each year, there are sold 6-8 million real Christmas trees in the UK. A typical Christmas tree with a height of 6 to 7 feet takes between 10 to 12 years of growing, fertilising, pruning and shaping. As the tree grows, it cleans the air, helps the soil, absorbs carbon emissions and provides a habitat for wildlife. However, the environmental impacts don't stop here. Real Christmas trees must get cut and transported to the shops. To lower your carbon footprint, it's best to:
- Buy a real Christmas tree close to home.
- To repurpose or compost it at the end of life.
- Avoid the plastic sleeves around the tree. Use a rope or old sheets instead.
Fake Christmas trees are made with a combination of PVC and steel and aren't recyclable at their end of life. Considering these artificial Christmas trees are made of plastic and shipped worldwide, is it even possible to have an eco-friendly artificial Christmas tree? If you use your artificial Christmas tree five or more times, the environmental impact is less.
Eco-friendly Christmas tree
An eco-friendlier Christmas tree choice is to buy a potted Christmas tree. When you've removed all of the baubles, ornaments and other decorations after the festive period, you can enjoy its year-round. Here's how to plant your eco-friendly potted Christmas tree in the garden:
Trees that have been in pots since they were first planted live longer because their roots are still intact. Those dug up to be potted have their roots cut, so they don't last as long.
If you wish to use your Christmas tree for a few years in a row, it's best to keep it in the pot and replant it into a bigger pot annually until it reaches a size where it can't be moved anymore.
- The Norway Spruce is the traditional tree variety in the UK and has a fantastic pine scent and thin, elegant branches. This tree is incredibly versatile and can be used in many different ways. To get the best out of a Norway Spruce tree in a pot, keep it in a sunny spot and water it regularly.
- Fraser Firs are slightly slimmer than the Norway Spruce, making it perfect for smaller spaces. They like a sheltered spot as they like cool, moist conditions.
- Nordmann Firs have excellent needle retention and have a slightly wider base than the other trees. Nordmann Fir Christmas trees need regular watering, especially during the warmer days. The container needs good drainage and a saucer or a mat underneath to catch any excess water.
Buy an eco-friendly Christmas tree at Rushfields
Help Mother Nature and celebrate the festive season in an eco-friendly way by keeping your Christmas tree in the garden. Rushfields Plant Centre stocks a lot of potted, cut and artificial Christmas trees this Christmas. If you want to become more eco-friendly during Christmas, we recommend considering using LED lights, reusable wrappings, like stockings and sustainable decorations. Visit our garden centre to discover all of the options. Find our opening hours on the contact page.