Christmas tree : which option is the most environmentally friendly?

At this time of the year, Christmas trees are on a lot of people’s minds. Around 150 millions of Christmas trees should be sold in 2020. And there are many questions about which types of trees are more environmentally friendly. So are real trees or artificial trees the best for the planet?

Short answer, real trees are better for the environnement. However, in my personal case, living in Dubai, none of them were an enough environment friendly option and I’ll explain why below. So I’ve decided to go for a Wood Christmas Tree designed especially for me by an amazing local company Palletize UAE.

🌲 Why are real trees better for the planet?

At first glance, this does really not seem evident… Indeed, an artificial tree can be reused over the years while a real tree needs a minimum of 6 years to harvest and will stay in your living room for few weeks only… So, what makes the difference?

About artificial trees:

  • Nearly 90%, of the 60 millions artificial trees purchase each season, are shipped across the world from China, resulting in a high increase of carbon emissions and resources. This come in addition to the carbon dioxide already generated for the production. A recent Canadian study showed that you have to keep your artificial tree 20 years if you want it to have less environmental impact than a real one!
  • Most of artificial trees are made in PVC which is very bad for the environment and our health.
  • Because of the material they are made of, most artificial trees can not be recycled and end up in local landfills.

About artificial trees:

  • 85 millions of Christmas trees are planted worldwide each years and are grown specially in the purpose of Christmas. Meaning they are growing on a sustainable way and do not destroy wild animals habitats.
  • Purchasing a LOCAL real Christmas tree means you’re supporting local tree farmers and helping maintain healthy forests for generations to come. One hectare of Christmas trees catches carbon dioxide and produces enough oxygen for 45 PEOPLE each day.

🌲 Attention points while buying a real tree

  • Look at the origin of your Christmas tree. Select one that grew next to you so you minimize carbon dioxyde footprint. It has no sens to buy a Christmas tree that travelled all around the world!
  • Select a farmer who do not use or at least minimize pesticides.
  • Once all the festivities are done, trees can be given a second life. Indeed, you can find organizations that use these donated Christmas trees for conservation and habitat projects in their local communities.

🌲 My sustainable alternative

It’s been 5 years now we are living in Dubai. The past years, we used to go back to France to spend Christmas in our families… So we did not make Christmas trees. However, this year, with this worldwide pandemic situation, we have to stay here. When I was young, decorating our local christmas tree with my mum was the beginning of the “magic period”! So, I could not image Christmas without a Christmas tree for my littles ones. But, finding a local real tree in the region is an impossible mission!! And trying to live plastic free as much as possible, artificial tree was clearly not an option. So what to do? I searched for some inspiration on Pinterest and contacted the local company Palletize UAE who designed and made especially this amazing wooden Christmas Tree. My littles also made some of the decoration from recycling products. You can read my article Upcycling Christmas Deco for more details!

christmas deco
Christmas tree

Happy Christmas everyone!

During this festive period, let’s keep our good sustainability habits: think twice before buying something and minimize our packaging and wastes ♻️🌿🌎

❤️ Stay safe and take care of yourself and your families ❤️