Alternative Christmas Giving
For many of us, the first shivers of that festive feeling come as we meander through the pines and firs at the local Christmas tree stall.
Yet, while we become evermore conscious of the environmental impact of our spending, the question of whether artificial or real Christmas trees have a lower carbon footprint has become top of the eco-friendly Yuletide agenda.
Do we opt for a lifelong plastic tree we can dust off and reuse every year, or do we embrace the urge for that real Christmas tree smell, buying one freshly felled and dumping it in a landfill come January?
The obvious answer may be to shirk buying any tree at all – but bah humbug!
This may lead us to assume that a long-lasting fake tree would be the way to go, as it wouldn’t require the annual car journeys and petrol exhausts.
But that isn’t the case, according to The Carbon Trust, who says that a real Christmas tree has a “significantly lower” carbon footprint than an artificial tree, particularly if it is disposed of in a sensible manner.
According to the organisation, a natural two-metre Christmas tree that does not have roots and is disposed of into a landfill after Christmas produces a carbon footprint of around 16kg of CO2.
A two-metre tree that has roots and is properly disposed of after its use — by burning it on a bonfire, planting it or having it chipped — has a carbon footprint of around 3.5kg of CO2, four and a half times less.
On the other hand, a two-metre Christmas tree made from plastic has a carbon footprint measuring at around 40kg of CO2, more than 10 times greater than a properly disposed of real tree.
Therefore, depending on the make, an artificial tree would need to used for at least 10-20 years in order for its environmental impact to equal that of a responsibly-disposed natural tree.
However, if you’re like me, and the idea of cutting down a tree for the sake of Christmas still doesn’t sit quite right…. why not plant some trees in it’s place?
Because it can up to 10 years for a tree to grow to its full oxygen producing potential, I’m choosing to plant 10x trees to offset my real chrismas tree this year. At only .40c per tree, planing 10x trees with an amazing NGO in Kenya costs a total of $4 USD. I personally visited this project earlier this year so have seen exactly how these funds are used and the impact it has.
If you find yourself in the giving spirit and would like to make an even bigger ‘giving impact’ this Christmas, consider purchasing the 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Giving bundle above.
Watch the video below to see the impact you will make by purchasing.