The study found that consumers need to consider an array of factors such as length of ownership, disposal method and tree miles before choosing which tree is more environmentally friendly. ACTA encourages consumers to consider these five helpful tips when deciding which tree to buy this year:
- Purchase locally grown Christmas trees if possible.
- Consider “Tree miles.” How far did the tree travel to get to your home? How far did you travel to get it?
- If you have purchased more than nine cut trees over the last nine years, consider purchasing an artificial tree to minimize your environmental impacts.
- If you own an artificial tree, make sure and keep it in use for at least six to nine years. If you plan to replace an artificial tree, donate it before you dispose of it.
- Properly dispose of your natural cut Christmas tree by checking with your local waste authority.
The study also highlights an “Eight Christmas Environmental Payback Period” between the two tree products based on the study’s five environmental indicators. The study found that the environmental impacts of one artificial tree used for more than eight Christmas’ is environmentally friendlier than purchasing eight or more live cut trees over eight years.