Saturday, December 18, 2010

Which Christmas tree is greener - a plastic tree or a real one?

An interesting article of John Collins Rudolf on the New York Times provides somewhat surprising reply: A plastic tree.

This reply is based on a comparative life cycle assessment of artificial vs. natural Christmas tree conducted by Ellipsos, an environmental consulting firm in Montreal. According to the article, Ellipsos found "that an artificial tree would have to be reused for more than 20 years to be greener than buying a fresh-cut tree annually. The calculations included greenhouse gas emissions, use of resources and human health impacts. "

As always the environmental consideration is not the only one, but given that over 50 million artificial Christmas trees will be purchased this season, according to the industry’s main trade group, compared to about 30 million real trees, this is definitely something to take into consideration. Especially when, according to the article, after six to 10 years of use, most of the plastic trees will end up in a landfill.

So if you still consider which tree to buy, read it on the NYT website . Here's also a short video summarizing the article:

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: Plant a tree for every book you read!