Should you buy a real Christmas tree or a fake one?

December 20, 2016

When the time comes to start decorating the home for Christmas, the tree is always the center of attention.  However, when you are committed to a Green lifestyle, it can be difficult to choose between buying a real Christmas tree or a fake. The dilemma of cutting down a tree can be just as difficult as choosing a faux plastic one that also might not be 100% great for the environment.

What is best for the planet?

Not all Christmas trees are festively environmentally friendly, and because Christmas is such a joyous time of the year, you want to be sure that the fun is not spoiled by having a tree that is not good for the planet.

If you prefer to have a real tree in your home, (and you are certainly not the only one who chooses a real tree), there are other factors that will come into play.  These factors include how far you will have to travel to get your tree as well as how you choose to dispose of it once it begins to wither and die.

When it comes to having a fake tree, then there is a whole new range of factors to consider, such as the quality of the tree and how long you will be using it.

Choosing your Christmas tree

As mentioned before, there are so many things to consider. Here are some of the factors that you need to think about:

  1. Your fake fur tree is going to have a longer lifespan.

You won’t have to worry about getting a new tree every year. If you buy a quality tree, you are going to get many years of use out of it. Because your tree can be used for many years, the fake Christmas tree can be a great option for when you are being environmentally conscious. These trees can last from between 5 to 10 years but depending on the quality. But there is also a downside. According to research, in order for the fake tree to be fully climate friendly, it will have to last for around 20 years.

Research done by a French Canadian consulting firm Ellipsos, fake Christmas trees have a far more damaging impact on the environment.

  1. Many fake Christmas trees are made from non-recyclable materials

This is one of the biggest factors against having a fake tree. Once the tree is no longer looking good, it will need to be disposed of. The problem comes in at this stage as the tree cannot be recycled, due to the toxic materials that are used to make the tree.

The upside is that advancements have been made towards making Christmas trees more environmentally friendly, which means that in future, these trees are more than likely going to be environmentally safe when it comes to breaking them down.

  1. Buy a “home grown” tree

To reduce the carbon impact of your fake Christmas tree, try to buy one that is locally produced, rather than buying one that is made overseas. They might be harder to track down, but because they are locally made they won’t have had to be imported. This contributes greatly to the impact that the tree will have on the environment as its carbon footprint will be minimal.

  1. The real deal are grown for a purpose

When buying a real Christmas tree, it is grown for the purpose of being a decoration. Not many places in South Africa offer the option of buying a real tree, but those who do are usually growing the tree for that purpose. Shop around, and do some online research, to find the right tree provider. You could also consider buying a potted Christmas tree that you tend to all year round and then bring into the home during the festive season. Finally, you can also consider having an indigenous tree as your Christmas tree.

  1. A real tree can be recycled

Biodegradable and not at all detrimental to the environment, when your real tree dies, you won’t have to worry about it damaging the environment.

The choice is yours, but if you are fully committed to Green Living, you might want to consider buying a real tree this Christmas. Although cutting down a tree might seem like the unlikely option, it is actually the best choice you can make!

Green Leaf Alternative Solutions is the contracting company supplying reliable solar solutions, water management systems and air conditioning in Pretoria and Johannesburg along with the rest of the Gauteng province.



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