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Ever thought much about the environmental impact of the festive period? Here’s a little run down on keeping your festive centrepiece eco-friendly
The time is here for us to adorn our homes with fairy lights, garlands, and of course, the Christmas tree. Many of you might already have your tree up, but for those of you still trying to get it together, how about an eco-friendly Christmas tree this year?
Real or artificial?
There’s been debate around whether a real or artificial tree is more eco-conscious. Your initial thought process might be to choose artificial. As it does mean you’re not ripping out a piece of mother nature every year.
However, it’s not as simple as that. Pretty much all artificial trees, after all, are made from plastic of some kind. I’m sure we all know the struggle of having needles all over the carpet at Christmas. Real or artificial, they shed. These ‘needles’ from artificial trees will break down into micro plastics. Which can get everywhere, the sea, food, even into our bloodstream.
So real trees are better? I hear you think.
It’s also not completely straightforward when it comes to real trees. After all, when you cut them down they do stop absorbing carbon from our atmosphere. Which in turn helps to offset the carbon emissions we’re putting out into the world.
If you already have an artificial tree, it’s good to make sure you look after it and use it for year upon year, to get the most life out of it as you can. Using an artificial tree for at least 11 years is a good time frame.
However, if you tend to opt for a real tree, then look at where you’re sourcing it from.
Is your tree a sustainable choice?
Ensure the supplier is part of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association. This tells you that you’re buying a quality tree, that’s been locally grown.
The best option would be a locally grown potted tree. Which, after the festive season, can be taken and re-potted into the ground to carry on growing. So nothing is getting chopped down or wasted.
We’ve collected a list of some eco-friendlier options of where you source your tree this year.
These guys offer pot grown trees and will collect it after Christmas to replant. They’re also donating £3 this year for every tree sold, to a Ukrainian refugee UK charity, and gifting trees to Ukrainian families living in the UK.
PLUS they have an exclusively electric fleet delivering trees and offset carbon emissions. So even the transport of your tree is carbon neutral.
If you buy a cut tree from them, they offer a responsible collection and disposal. They’ll be used as compost for nutrition for future trees.
Based in Scotland, these Scottish grown trees are delivered in bio-degradable netting.
All profits from their trees go to the ‘Bethany Christian Trust’ which works to end homelessness in Scotland.
Another one which has potted trees available. Edenmill offer potted trees that you can keep in the garden through the year, and use again next festive season.
Grown in the UK, The Christmas Forest replace every tree which is chopped down for Christmas. They also endeavour to grow close to residential areas, to encourage customers to retrieve their tree on foot, removing any car emissions.
Minimal chemical intervention is used when growing their trees. The Christmas Forest make sure absolutely nothing is sprayed within three months of harvest.
Forestry England have Christmas Tree farms around the country. With some farms offering potted trees, and all come in biodegradable netting.
Money from their Tree sales is used to maintain the forests trees grown in. This helps benefit and support the local wildlife.
Recycling your tree
If you opt for a cut tree rather than potted, when it comes to taking it down don’t dump it somewhere. To keep your tree eco-friendly as possible, it’s important to recycle it properly after it’s use.
Since not all suppliers offer to take the tree back and recycle it, you might be stuck as what to do.
Recycle Now has tool which can help you find a local recycling point which will shred the tree for chippings. So keep a bookmark of this Recyle Now link for when January comes around.
Lana can usually be found spinning her collection of records, or writing odd poems in her phone notes. Her mixer of choice is a ginger beer, and you’ll never find her away from the sea for more than a few weeks.
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