By Lorrin Windahl.
There is great debate about whether it is more ‘green’ to have a fake tree or a real one. I don’t really want to enter into this debate but I will say that there are a few things to consider, from an environmental point of view, before buying either.
If you are buying a fake tree then you should buy a good quality one that you can keep for many years rather than having to replace it every few years. After all, they just get dumped into landfill after they are thrown out. Also I’d lean towards ones that are PVC and lead free. There is strong evidence to suggest that carcinogens are generated during the production process of PVC. So for health and ethical reasons I’d steer clear of these.
If buying a real tree then its best to get it from a local grower rather than get one that has clocked up a few more carbon miles on a truck. Also, although hard to find, sustainably farmed trees are better as they aren’t grown with harsh chemicals and you can be sure that your tree is being replaced by another. The other great thing about real trees is that they can be recycled into mulch after Christmas.
If neither of these options appeal though, I reckon making your own tree is the bees knees. We have a family tradition, well for the last 5 years anyway, of making our own. We take it in turns to see who can make the most creative and original tree. And generally they are made from found objects that are being thrown out so it is also a pretty cost effective exercise. If making isn’t your thing, then buying a tree made from a renewable, recycled or recyclable material is also a great option.
Here’s some DIY trees for inspiration.