An artificial tree may need to be used 9 to 18 times to equal the impact of a real tree

85 million Christmas trees are planted worldwide each year with a 2.5 m tree taking up to ten years to grow. The carbon footprint is affected by its transportation and disposal, and a typical tree can have a carbon footprint of up to 16 kg CO2(e) if it is sent to landfill compared to a negligible or negative carbon footprint if it is recycled or replanted.

An artificial tree is difficult to recycle and the best advice appears to be to continue to use the artificial tree and when you finally decide to stop using it, to donate the tree to a charity shop. If you are looking to buy an artificial tree try to purchase a second hand one to reduce its carbon footprint. A typical 6 ft artificial tree has a carbon footprint of 40 kg CO2(e) attributable to the fossil fuel source of the plastic, manufacture and transport.


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