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Eco-Friendly Christmas tree: how to make the right choice

Eco-Friendly Christmas tree

December 25th is approaching and you are probably already thinking about buying a sustainable Christmas tree. Usually, the biggest doubt is: should I buy a real tree or a fake one? The eco-friendliest choice is the first one, without any doubt. But let’s see why.

Sustainable Christmas trees: say no to the fake ones!

Every year in Italy many fake Christmas trees are purchased. Unfortunately, this is not a very eco-friendly choice.

Just think of the fact that fake Christmas trees are usually made of polyethylene terephthalate and PVC, two non-biodegradable materials.

A more precise idea of the impact these have can be provided by a research conducted by the Association of Italian Horticulturalists1. Do you know how much oil is needed to produce one single medium-sized tree? About 20 kilos! And that's not all: 23 kg of CO2 are released into the atmosphere. The picture is completed by the pollution generated by long distance transportation, since artificial trees are very often imported from Asian countries. Finally, it’s important to consider that artificial trees require about two centuries to biodegrade.

Therefore, this is definitely an option to avoid. But if you really can't do without a fake tree, we invite you to use it for as long as possible.

Eco-friendly Christmas trees: why you should choose a real tree

Let's immediately dispel a myth: purchasing real trees does not cause deforestation at all, as is commonly thought.

As pointed out by the National Federation of Forest Resources and Wood Crops, Italy has a forest heritage that covers about one third of its territory. Among 590 thousand hectares, there are fir trees whose tops are trimmed, a technique that allows to obtain a sustainable Christmas tree and also protects the fir trees. Furthermore, fir trees destined for the Christmas holidays are also grown in farms (according to an estimate by Coldiretti2, about 13.5 million are sold every year in Italy). If they have roots, real fir trees can be replanted or repotted (in larger pots) after the holidays, and be reused the following years.

But how do you know if the tree you’ve bought is really sustainable?

  • First of all, verify the presence of a certificate that, among other things, specifies the name of the producer and the place of origin.
  • You must also choose fir trees that come from places as close as possible, to limit the pollution caused by transport and to be sure that they are native species suitable for our climate.
  • Alternatively, it is possible to rent a tree, these are easy to find by doing a simple web search.

Therefore, choosing a real and certified Christmas tree represents a completely eco-friendly option and, in addition, will also give your home an authentic Christmas atmosphere and smell. If you’d like to take an extra step for the environment, stop using single use plastic and PET bottles: with the Waidy WOW App you can keep track of the amount of CO2 saved!


1 Source: Association of Italian Horticulturalists
2 Source: Coldiretti