Xmas Trees: Real or Plastic?

I had a discussion today about Xmas trees with my friend who believes that artificial trees are more environmentally friendly because they last forever whereas real trees are farmed…cut down then thrown away.


Real trees:

  • Absorb millions of tons of CO2 in the UK each year
  • Can be bought from sustainable organic farmers across the country
  • Can be bought ‘live’ and planted in the garden where they can be kept alive for years after and brought in each year for Xmas
  • or, if you’ve no garden they can be pulped and recycled (most councils offer a collection service free of charge…ring first and book your collection in advance.  Whatever you do, don’t drag it to the waste-site by your car exhaust)

Artificial trees:

  • Are made of PVC (polyvinyl choride) and are non bio-degradable
  • Consume much energy in the production process
  • Are usually manufactured abroad and imported around the world, causing much travel emissions
  • Are only used for an average of five years then end up on waste-sites (remember they are non bio-degradable)

Easy choice really. 

Some handy websites for a Greener Xmas:






9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by misslionheart on December 19, 2006 at 7:57 pm

    Well, I love the smell of a real tree, but can’t be bothered with the disposing of it. An artificial tree is so easy, although I hate getting it down from the attic! I don’t know what I prefer…..


  2. Posted by babybull40 on December 20, 2006 at 11:33 pm

    I love the smell of real trees too, but alas I have a plastic one that has lasted well over 15 years.. it’s in excellent condition and I have no real mess of pine needles to collect afterwards.


  3. I agree with Earthpal on the use of artificial trees. Here in the Canary Islands there are lots of autoctonous pine trees (Pinus canariensis), which even when burnt by occasional fires regenerate themselves. To commercialise them you must have a permission from the concerned authorities.


  4. I guess if you already possess an artificial tree then you may as well use it up. But sadly, artificial tree’s are only used on average, for five or six years then end up on landfill sites.

    Canarislander…the pine trees there sound very resilient. I imagine they’re quite lovely too.


  5. They are resilient, Earthpal, and are fundamental for the sloped landscape. Yes, I find them lovely as I do everything that is natural.

    The best and warmest of Christmas to you.


  6. In Australia most people use Plastic trees. Real trees die in the heat so quickly. The other factor for most people is the cost a small real tree cost $80 you can buy a large, as realistic looking (as real as plastic can look) tree. Does it really matter? If people judge your sole Christmas effort on the tree, then most people would be shot on sight (purple tinsle and singing baubles…need I say more).


  7. > ‘If people judge your sole Christmas effort on the tree, then most people would be shot on sight (purple tinsle and singing baubles…’

    Baby Jesus just turned purple in his crib at the thought…!


  8. Posted by misslionheart on December 27, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    Miss you 😥


  9. Hi Pocket…it’s not so much what Xmas trees look like that concerns me, it’s the impact they have on the environment. Hope you had a great time anyway.

    ML, thanks…missed you too.


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