Decking the halls is one of many ways to embrace the Christmas spirit – and, when it comes to decorations, surely the tree is everyone’s favorite. But at the risk of sounding like the Grinch, the tree is just one of many Yuletide traditions that are terrible for the environment. So, should you opt for a real or artificial one? Most fake trees are not biodegradable and end up in landfills, where they remain long after the celebrations are over – for centuries even. As for real trees, the obvious no-no is cutting them down. The solution: If you live in cities like Los Angeles or London, some companies deliver potted trees to your home, then collect and re-plant them after Christmas.
As for good, old-fashioned Christmas cards, that eco-fail will see your name land squarely on Santa’s naughty list. America alone sends around two billion cards by post every year. While I can’t argue with the sentimental joy a handwritten note brings, imagine how many trees would be saved if everyone went digital. If you must use paper, greener brands such as Australia’s Earth Greetings or Saraswati Papers in Bali use recycled paper, while etailer Paper Culture plants a tree for every order – a full-circle moment if you bought a real tree this year.