We were wondering this very thing, so in 2022 we decided to do our own research into the carbon footprint of potted trees, cut trees and artificial trees, including looking into the location they are sold, their packaging, transportation to our homes and their end of life disposal afterwards.
As the festive season of 2023 is upon us, we’re excited to provide you with the latest insights into sustainable Christmas tree options.
If you haven’t read our blog from last year, you can find it here: https://grigoriou.co.uk/how-sustainable-is-your-christmas-tree/
What changed from last year?
All the options based in L2 location for a natural tree will include x 2 return trips to the tree farm, for 10 years. This reflects more accurately the scenarios. Fresh-cut tree EOL updated to composting.
Summary and Recommendations
Based on the updated measurements and scope, it would seem that:
- For the in-town/city location, the cut xmas tree with re-used tree stand, which is composted into new soil at end-of-life has the lowest impact.
- For the countryside location, the artificial tree has the lowest impact surprisingly, followed by the cut tree option. This is due to the x 2 number of car trips involved using a diesel vehicle. It would completely change the modelling outcomes if the initial trip to select the tree was undertaken by foot or bike, or if the vehicle was changed to one using low-impact fuel.
The modelling has provided this insight and a new family tradition will be adopted going forward for 2024!