Real or fake?
With the onset of the holiday season, you’re probably wondering which Christmas tree is better for the environment, a synthetic tree or the real deal?
According to the Carbon Trust, you would need to use the same fake tree for at least 10 years for it to have the equivalent carbon footprint as buying a real tree each year. Some estimates even go as high as 20 years, considering the 10x higher carbon footprint compared to a sustainably grown and correctly recycled real Christmas tree. Ultimately, a 6.5ft artificial tree has a carbon footprint equivalent to about 40kg of greenhouse gas emissions – which is more than twice that of a real tree that ends its life in a landfill.
So real is the way to go, right? Well, if your natural Christmas tree is collected in Grand Cayman by the DEH in January and then mulched, then yes. If your tree ends up in the landfill and decomposes, it can produce methane gas which is 25 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2. If left undealt with, a 6.5ft real tree can result in the equivalent of 16kg CO2 emissions.
The main takeaway: If you already have a fake tree, maintain it for at least a decade before looking to replace it. If you purchase a real tree, be sure to drop it off at the DEH Christmas Tree Recycling Programme locations by 31 January 2024.
For more information on recycling your tree with DEH, click the link below: