The holidays are festive times that are dedicated to spending time with loved ones and family. It is with no doubt that with the holiday spirit and festive rush, especially with last minute decorations, we may choose a few less sustainable or eco-friendly alternatives. Simple switches that are cost friendly can benefit the environment greatly and lower of carbon footprint so you can have a merry holiday without worrying about the environment.
As we all commonly known, plants, specifically trees, are one of nature’s carbon capture reservoirs and naturally convert CO₂ into glucose through photosynthesis. It is estimated that approximately 100,00 grams of carbon dioxide is captured each year thanks to the mighty tree.
During the next few weeks, families will be looking for the perfect holiday tree as the centrepiece of decoration for their homes. Trees are one of the first things in holiday shoppers’ minds. Short answer – real trees are best for the environment.
It is important to understand from a scientific aspect that trees don’t require the intensive carbon emissions that it takes to produce and ship artificial trees. In the United States alone, 350-500 million trees grow on farms and only 30 million trees are harvested; there are ten times more trees left. Real trees help fight climate change, and even though your Christmas tree is cut down, you’re actually supporting forests.
In the United States alone, 10 million artificial trees are purchased (not looking at overall production). Most fake trees are made of synthetic materials such as plastic. Hence, the production causes many grams of carbon emission to be produced. Often these fake trees don’t have a way of getting recycled and end up in our landfills. Nearly 90 percent of them are shipped across the world from China, resulting in an increase of carbon emissions and resources. Not to mention the smell of new plastic is just not as nostalgic as a crisp, fresh evergreen.
Buying real trees will help keep tree farms in business – and in turn keep their lands covered in the healthy forest habitat that wildlife depends on to survive. And what’s more, once all the festivities are done, these trees can be recycled and given a second life. Most states have organizations that use these donated Christmas trees for conservation and habitat projects in their local communities.
We can cut more than 30% of carbon emissions by using sustainable practices such as switching to real Christmas trees. Supporting real trees means supporting small businesses and also helping many families live above the poverty line. For every tree purchased, farmers plant 1-3 seedlings in its place according to the National Christmas Tree Association.
In addition, it is possible to plant the trees that you would usually put in a bucket and plant it outside! It would help the environment while also giving you the warm winter holiday vibe.
Lastly, using recyclable decorations is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint over the holidays. For example, try creating some elements you would add to your Christmas tree or centrepieces for your dinner table.
If we use our resources such as trees sustainably, we can manage and protect them. When our forests are sustainably managed, they can produce renewable resources like Christmas trees and other wood-made products.
Our power to make a difference is as easy as 1- 2-tree. This year, you can do your part for nature by picking out a real tree that’s not only beautiful but good for nature too. That could cement your position on the “nice” list.
At Green Schools Green Future, we support sustainability at all cost and all used solutions to reduce our carbon footprint to protect our planet!
Written By Sarah Syed