Sustainability and Christmas Trees: Let's Get Real

Dec 6, 2011 5:13 PM ET
Campaign: CSR Blogs

Posted by Antonio Pasolini

Christmas is, by all standards, a not very sustainable holiday. People shop, travel and eat much more than they should, and their carbon footprint goes through their snow-covered roofs. Of course there are ways of mitigating the Christmas carbon extravaganza by traveling using the least dirty means of transport (rail, if possible), sharing eco presents and making a meal with organic, local produce that excludes meat.

But there's that elephant in the room called 'the Christmas tree'. It's big and it invites the question: how green is it? For a while some people tried to plug it to the world that plastic Christmas trees were greener because they could be re-used. However, a thorough comparison between the two options illustrates that real trees are more sustainable for several reasons including the fact that in most cases the plastic ones are only used a couple of times. Besides, who wants to increase demand for yet more toxic plastic in the world?

So, yes, getting a real Christmas tree is more sustainable than getting a fake one. But even better than that is renting a Christmas tree, an idea that has taken root in England where it was championed during the famous Ideal Home Show At Christmas that took place mid-November.

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Antonio Pasolini is a Corporate Social Responsibility writer for Justmeans. A media graduate with a specialization in film and TV, Antonio Pasolini is the editor of, a top web destination for alternative energy products, news and commentary. With more than a decade's experience in journalism, Antonio has written on a wide range of topics, from technological breakthroughs by the brains at MIT to a trip to sustainable projects in the Amazon. One of his new projects involves an eco print magazine to be distributed from a selection of London shops.