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Natural or artificial Christmas tree, which is more environmentally friendly?

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Would you prefer an artificial Christmas tree to protect the environment? Wrong! Natural Christmas trees have a lower carbon footprint than artificial ones. The smell of the forest. (1)

Natural or artificial fir: which is better?

6 million natural Christmas trees are sold every year, compared with 1 million artificial ones. The question is: isn’t it better to opt for an artificial Christmas tree that can last for several years, rather than a natural one that will end up burnt as soon as the holidays are over?

A Canadian research firm, Ellipsos (2), has carried out a life-cycle analysis of natural and artificial fir trees. As a result, one artificial Christmas tree emits the equivalent of 8.1 kg ofCO2 for its production and transport. A natural Christmas tree emits ” only ” 3.1 kg ofCO2.

According to the study, you would need to keep your artificial Christmas tree for more than 20 years for it to be profitable from a carbon point of view. Households keep it for an average of six years. What’s more, artificial Christmas trees are made from non-renewable materials, mainly plastic. So choose a natural tree for the holidays: it’s much more authentic, too. If there is an impact, since softwoods are known to acidify soils (3), it’s less, and we prefer to buy local.

Choosing an eco-friendly natural Christmas tree

A common misconception about natural fir trees is that buying them contributes to deforestation. Christmas trees are cultivated varieties, so you don’t contribute to the decimation of the forest when you buy your tree.

There are also many ways to give it a second life after the holidays: recycle it, replant it…

5 good reasons to choose a natural tree for Christmas
Reason no. 1: it releases oxygen

As long as the tree remains untrimmed, it capturesCO2 and converts it into oxygen, thus helping to limit the greenhouse effect.

Reason no. 2: regional

When you buy a tree from, you’re contributing to Luxembourg’s economic development.

Reason No. 3: Recycling

While artificial trees are often made of plastic, natural trees are entirely biodegradable.

Reason No. 4: Flood control

Thanks to their root system, fir trees help stabilize soils and reduce the risk of flooding.

Reason no. 5: Biodiversity

Growing fir trees helps create a stable ecosystem in the plantation area.

References :

(1) Source:

(2) Source: Ellipsos

(3) Jean-François, Ponge. “What future for the forest? And what do the soils have to tell us? The example of Morvan.” (2019).