Author: Susan Date Posted:8 October 2016
Most live Christmas trees in Australia come from small Christmas tree farms owned by families. We then purchase them direct from the farm or local charities and businesses in our local area. The trees are grown specifically for cutting down at Christmas and are always replaced, capturing carbon dioxide and providing some long-term soil protection. But most trees are subjected to pesticides and fertilisers which impact the local environment and the consumer who purchases the tree. Also because the trees are young and not native to Australia there is little wild life nested in them.
Each year your tree can be disposed of through mulching and composting. A great alternative to landfill.
PROS: less environment impact, natural real look and smell. Fully recyclable, local sourced. Supporting a charity
CONS: purchase cost every year, maintenance over the Christmas period, messy needle dropping, irregular shaped branches which droop with weight of decorations, risk of pesticides in your home
We are talking about the green/white/snowy/black leaves on a branch on a trunk variety here in this conversation. Artificial trees have come a long way since they were made by toilet brush manufacturers. Trees look real and come in a huge range of colours, styles and shapes. The trees are strong and regular shaped allowing your decorations to fit beautifully on your tree.
But these artificial Christmas trees are usually made from steel and the plastic known as PVC. To produce one kilogram of raw PVC you need over a kilo of fossil fuels plus half a kilo of minerals and 10 L of water. The process also releases about two kilograms of CO2 - which contributes to climate change - and eight grams of hazardous waste.
Despite the longevity of a fake tree, they are usually replaced every six to nine years, as they fall apart or customers change their look.
PROS: huge variety of colours, styles and shapes, easy attach of decorations to branches, last a long time
CONS: PVC impact on the environment, they end up as landfill,
And of course you could ignore both types of trees and go for something completely different – our favourites the wooden tree. Made from plywood, flat packed and lasts a lifetime. No PVC chemicals from sustainable wood sources.
Or make a tree from items you already own — books, scrap paper, drawings, scrap wood, etc. Get the kids involved and create something unique to your family.