Why real Christmas trees are better for the environment

Why real Christmas trees are better for the environment


8 million natural trees are bought every single year for Christmas in the UK.

And for the US, these statistics are even more insane. 30 million real trees are purchased every single year, and a shocking 10 million artificial trees.

Photography Credit: Roma Kaiuk

If you've been doubting to get yourself a real tree this year or an artificial one, let me give you the ups and downs of both.

Every acre of pine trees will reduce one ton of carbon dioxide during their 8-10 year lifespan and real trees provide a habitat for wildlife. Growers can also use certain parts of their land where other crops wouldn't grow, such as steep hills.

Another absolute plus is that you will also help a local businesses with your purchase and keep money within your community. The downside of all of this is the amount of pesticides used to help quicken the grow of your tree, but you can always find an FSC approved grower to purchase your tree from!

Depending on what you then do with your tree, will make a big impact as well. When you 'donate' the tree to your council for proper recycling, the wood chips will be recycled and used for, for example, composting purposes.

You could also decide to re-plant the pine tree in your back garden for use the next year. This is obviously the best solution, but there aren't many people with gardens big enough to fit a Christmas tree all-year round - and you'll have to buy a potted tree to begin with. The worst you can do, is sending your tree into landfill. Did you know that it costs UK councils £2,32 per tree in landfill taxes when they end up in landfill?! When you dump your tree with your general rubbish, your 2 meter tall Christmas tree will release 16kg of carbon dioxide (due to the methane released as it decomposes), in comparison to 3.5kg CO2 when it's gets recycled.

An artificial tree is made of oil, so you are paying into the hands of those trying to ruin our planet. 80% of artificial trees are manufactured by Chinese companies and are shipped from far and wide to make it to your living room. You can of course use an artificial tree multiple years, but it needs at least 10 years worth of uses to come close to the amount of damage an artificial tree does in comparison to using a real tree, while the average use of an artificial tree is only 6 Christmasses. Once your artificial tree is dumped into landfill, all kinds of horrible things are happening as well, so please do not buy a shitty new artificial tree every couple of years.


The best option is to just don't buy a tree. If you really need a cozy-looking home, do it up in a different way. I have never bought a Christmas tree in my life, this is mainly because I've always 'gone home' for Christmas. I've been living abroad for so long that me and my husband are always visiting the family during Christmas and we have no need for a tree ourselves, but can enjoy the ones our parents have.



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