We get a real Christmas tree each year which we decorate with tasteful colour-themed decorations, and we also have an elderly artificial tree which the children decorate with all the hand-made decorations that come home from school. But which is more environmentally friendly?
Bob Flowerdew, the famous organic gardener, has announced that he is getting an artificial tree this year which he claims is more environmentally friendly. This flies in the face of popular opinion that real trees are the greener choice. Triple Pundit, the blog which does the maths about various environmental dilemmas, has compared real v. artificial Christmas trees, and concluded that Bob has got it wrong on this one.
But I'm glad that he raised the issue anyway. Some trees are flown great distances for the lucrative seasonal trade, so I recommend asking the seller where your tree was grown. You want to make sure it is as local as possible. Also avoid the shady characters who chainsaw natural woodland by night for a quick Christmas buck. You want a purpose-grown tree which will be replaced by the grower. And do make sure you recycle your tree when Twelfth Night has passed.
Consider other options as well, such as buying a living Christmas tree which will adorn your patio year round and be brought indoors each Christmas. Or you could plant a tree as a Christmas gift for someone, or for yourself to offset the carbon cost of celebrating Christmas.