Should I buy a real or artificial Christmas tree?

If you REALLY want to buy one, it seems that a real one is more environmentally friendly but even better, why not make your own!

Most of us have a very romanticised view of Christmas and one of the traditional images of the season is a highly decorated Christmas tree with parcels scattered around its base. All the best Christmas films include a scene with the parents bringing home a fresh cut tree ready for the kids to decorate.

However we are all becoming more aware of environmental and sustainability concerns. Maybe it’s time for us to stop and reassess our shopping habits around this time of year. So, what should we do about Christmas trees? Should we buy real or artificial? Do we really need to buy one?

So, first things first. If you already own an artificial tree, then keep using it. If they are used for at least 10 years, the environmental impact equals that of a natural tree.

If you really want to buy an artificial one, what about looking in charity shops or on freecycle?

Although artificial trees have become more popular, there are still 8 million pine trees sold each year in the UK. Real trees have a significantly lower carbon footprint than artificial ones. They are renewable and biodegradable. 

If you are dead set on a real tree, renting is the best option. You might think of it as a tree for life as some people rent the same tree each year. I appreciate that it is not available in all areas. There are plenty of options in England such as loveachristmastree but I haven’t been able to find a Scottish supplier this year.

So next best is buying a pot-grown tree. This then allows you to keep it outdoors year round or plant it in your garden if you have one. Try to buy from a local grower such as Caring Christmas Trees or Scottish Christmas trees.

Of course, some people believe that this is still unnecessary consumption of goods. So what about trying to create your own tree from items you already have in the home?

I have friends who have a large branch that comes out each year for Christmas decoration. A sturdy houseplant could also be decorated. If you have limited space in your home, you could just have a great big picture of a tree on the wall! When I was ten, I made a tree like this at Youth Club. We didn’t have a tree so it took pride of place on our living room wall. I was really chuffed that my creation was centre-stage. You and your family could have great fun getting really creative with your ideas and make something completely unique. Here are some ideas to inspire you on our Pinterest board

If you have any tree ideas to share with us, please do. We would love to see your creations. Whatever you decide to do, I hope your tree is beautiful and brings you joy.

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