What type of Christmas tree to buy: natural or artificial?
Christmas is very close and the question "What Christmas tree should I get" is more and more in our minds. That's the real thought when "Oh Christmas tree" is playing. The answer to this eternal Christmas question is not simple and depends on many factors. Whether we prefer one or the other, we can help the environment, under conditions. The No Thinkin team is here to tell you everything you need to know in both cases.
In 2009, the sustainability consultancy Ellipsos assessed the impact of natural and artificial trees in four areas:
- human health,
- impact on ecosystems,
- climate change,
- Depletion of natural resources.
In his report he finds that a natural tree is a better option in terms of the effects on the last two, namely climate change and the depletion of natural resources. However, an artificial tree is a better solution if used for 20 years. The only way for an artificial tree to be "greener" than a real one has two conditions: 1) that the tree is built to last and 2) that we commit to keeping it around for a very long time. Let's look at the pros and cons of both options.
Pros and cons
Real trees are definitely more aesthetically pleasing. Also, they have an evergreen scent that immediately gives a natural Christmas atmosphere to the space, without artificial smells. Many of us have the wrong idea that real firs are cut from forests to come to our house. But this is not the case. Most trees come from fir producers and are grown for this purpose in nurseries. There is, therefore, an economic benefit to several local economies and communities. Once the holidays are over, real trees can be transplanted or even "recycled". Many municipalities have garden waste recycling services. Of course, pesticides can also be used in Christmas tree nurseries. That is why it is always good to ask about the origin of our tree when we buy it.
Artificial trees, on the other hand, are often made from PVC, which is difficult to recycle and ends up in landfills. There they release greenhouse gases and pollute the soil with dangerous substances. Often, they are manufactured in factories abroad and transported by ships and trucks, thus increasing their environmental footprint. Of course, the good thing about artificial trees is that 1) they are easier to transport (especially if they are collapsible) and 2) we don't have to pay for a new tree every year. But it is important to invest in a high quality tree. If the tree is of poor quality, it will not stand the test of time and will be plucked often.
What to keep in mind in any case
1. If we buy a real tree, it is good to buy it in a pot. In this way, we can water it and then transplant it
2. Under no circumstances do we burn or throw away the real tree after using it
3. If we choose an artificial tree, we promise to use it as much as possible. The most ideal is at least 20 years
Therefore, what is the answer to the question "what Christmas tree should I get?". This decision depends on many factors that we mentioned above. We at No Thinkin this year (and every year) prefer to decorate a real tree and then transplant it to continue its life! Whatever you choose, we wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!