Christmas is well and truly over. Decorations are down, workplaces are bustling again and the Quality Street tin is well and truly empty. Something that is also likely to have vanished from most homes are Christmas trees. An ever presence during December, the Christmas tree is as synonymous with the holiday as Santa. The UK erects roughly 7 million natural trees a year with countless more plastic alternatives also springing up around the winter months.
Christmas trees are an extremely important piece of iconography surrounding Christmas and to wish them away would be foolish and bizarre. However, it is hard to ignore and neglect the environmental impact that the continual growth, use and disposal of Christmas trees produce. If we were taking the aforementioned 7 million trees and presumed they would all go to landfill, the carbon dioxide produced would equate to a whopping 100,000 tons.
While it is important to note that a minor proportion of these trees don’t go to landfill, the larger amount still do and in turn create a concerning amount of environmental damage. It is important to highlight what the alternatives are.
Many councils offer collection services that ensure that your tree will be disposed of in a sensible manner. It is likely that they will be taken to a green waste recycling facility and transformed in to compost. In fact, purchase some of our organic compost and there is a good chance that somewhere in the black you’ll find what was once Christmas tree. There are of course more novel ways that a tree can be reused. Birmingham, Benham and Belfast zoos are a number of wildlife centers that have been happy to take trees as toys for their big cats.
Currently, composting your tree is the best option when coming to disposal. But this doesn’t mean that there aren’t better approaches that with backing from government and further research could provide an even more efficient way of recycling trees.