Is it more environmentally friendly to buy a fake Christmas tree, or a real one? © Getty Images

Is it more environmentally friendly to buy a fake Christmas tree, or a real one?

"Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, are you environmentally friendly?"

Although the carbon footprint of a real tree depends on the method of its disposal, it is invariably lower than that of an artificial tree. According to the Carbon Trust, a 2m 
tall real tree that ends up in a wood chipper or bonfire has a carbon footprint of 3.5kg of carbon dioxide (CO2). If the tree ends up as landfill, the footprint increases significantly to 16kg CO2.

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Both of these figures pale in comparison to the carbon footprint of a 2m-tall artificial tree, which is estimated to be 40kg of CO2. This means you would have to reuse your artificial tree for 12 years to make it greener than a real tree that was burned. If you want to be environmentally friendly this Christmas, your best option would be to buy a potted tree which can be replanted and re-used year after year.


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