The debate over whether to cut down a live Christmas tree or buy an artificial one is just as much an annual tradition as the holiday, but the Sierra Club says there’s another option.
A potted Christmas tree is the most environmentally friendly option says Tim Pearson, director of communications. The tree can sit in your garden for the rest of the year and be brought inside to be decorated in December, he says.
According to researchers from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions Forest Carbon Management Project say the carbon footprint of artificial trees boil down to how many times the fake tree will actually be reused.
Pearson says an artificial tree has to be reused for 20 years to have roughly the same impact of a live cut tree, adding that on average artificial trees are replaced every six years.
Other factors to take into consideration include the distance needed to travel to get the tree, how the real tree is sourced and the methods of disposing.
For Pearson it’s simple, “source [Christmas trees] locally, keep the distance you have to travel to get them to a minimum and recycle them after.”