The most festive month of the year is upon us, and now is the time that most of us are buying a Christmas tree to decorate and place presents underneath.
But what kind of tree are you going to buy to do the job? A plastic tree that you can use each year, a tree cut down for your personal use, or a live, potted tree? Does it really matter where it comes from, or is the main goal to find the best aesthetically pleasing tree?
In fact it does truly make a difference as to what kind of Christmas tree you buy, and here are some reasons why.
Whilst plastic trees are probably seen as one of the more ethical trees, as they can be used year after year, they aren’t the greatest due to the fact that a lot of resources are used in the manufacturing and packaging through transportation of these trees. Although they are made of petroleum products, they also contain a lot of wire and paints, which mean that they are not recyclable. This means that although you will use them for an average of 6 consecutive years, they will eventually end up in a landfill site where they will release harmful toxins that pollute the soil around them, which inevitably ends up in our oceans.
There is also the possibility with plastic trees, that their released toxins can find their way through the food chain, and end up in our food and water, which creates poison through consumption.
Others tend to go for the authentic real, cut christmas tree, which is seen as much better than the plastic ones, because they are natural. Whilst this is true, they don’t last very long.
The real, cut trees are seen as a renewable source due to the fact that they are grown on tree farms, which increase air quality as they grow, but we must look at this on the grander scale, and think about the 200 million cut Christmas trees that are bought each year.
Whilst a big percentage of these trees are used for other uses, such as firewood or chipping, a huge 20 million of these trees are dumped illegally in parks and alleyways where there is always a risk of residential fire.
So which tree is best for your Christmas? The answer is actually a third option, which is a live, potted Christmas tree.
These trees are great due to the fact that they can be used for 2-3 years, after which they can be replanted into a larger pot and be used for many more Christmases to come, and they can then be planted in your garden when they get too big for your house. They are also great for creating clean air, as they will increase your home’s air quality if they are kept inside the house, and will decrease air pollution if you decide to plant them outside.
When you decide to replant your rooted Christmas tree, you will be helping the soil as well as guarding against erosion, and even helping the filtration of polluted water.
Potted Christmas trees are also relatively easy to find, and therefore will reduce transportation costs when sourced locally, whilst also using no packaging and require significantly less resources to produce than other Christmas tree options.
So when you go out to purchase this year’s Christmas tree, consider these options, and the huge number of benefits that come with purchasing a live, potted Christmas tree, for both yourself and the environment.
Jess Murray is a wildlife filmmaker and conservation blogger, having recently returned from studying wildlife and conservation in South Africa, she is now striving to spread awareness about the truth behind faux conservation facilities throughout the world. You can follow Jess on Facebook Here
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Jess Murray is a wildlife conservationist and writer who has spent a lot of time working and studying in South Africa. She is now striving to spread awareness about global conservation issues and the truth behind faux conservation facilities throughout the world. Read More stories by Jess Murray