HomeLifestyleHome & Garden

How to ethically source your Christmas tree


1st Jan 2015 Home & Garden

How to ethically source your Christmas tree

Keep you Christmas tree green in more ways than one with these practical tips for sourcing an ethical Christmas tree.

Artificial trees

artificial tree

While it seems logical that an artificial tree would be more sustainable than a real one, in reality this isn’t entirely true. It is possible to have a real tree in a sustainable manner and this is far more desirable than encouraging the production of non-degradable plastics.

Choosing an artificial tree is only sustainable if you continue to use it year on year without fail. Most artificial trees are made from non-bio-degradable plastics, although there are some companies who create fake trees from recycled materials.


Real trees

real tree

Every year in the UK alone, eight million trees are felled for Christmas. Most of these will end up on the skip just a week after Christmas Day.

Before purchasing your fresh tree, ensure that it has been organically grown. This means that the farm it was grown on would have provided an ideal habitat for wildlife to live in. Many Christmas trees are treated with potent fertilisers and herbicides and are often farmed by poorly paid and over-worked staff.

You can find a list of organic Christmas tree growers at the Soil Association or find out how to get an FSC-approved tree from the Forest Stewardship Council

It’s also worth double-checking where your tree was grown. Those planted closer to home will naturally have a lower carbon footprint.


After Christmas

abandoned christmas trees

When you’re finished with your tree, don’t just chuck it out. Your local council will have several drop-off points on offer where they will shred it and use it for compost or wood chippings.  

If you buy an entire tree, complete with roots, you can replant it after Christmas.  This is by far the most eco-friendly option. If you don’t have the space to replant yourself, you can donate it.

Alternatively, why not rent your Christmas tree? Several companies now offer a service where you rent the tree over Christmas, and they replant it once you’re finished, ready for somebody else the following year.