I find there are so many considerations over the festive season besides just surviving the hectic period. My sense of community is at its greatest at this time of year, as I take stock of just how fortunate we are to have a roof over our head and a family to share this special time with. It also highlights some of the challenges I face as a consumer trying to be environmentally minded.

In our rush to complete our Christmas shopping (well at least mine anyway!) it can be easy to overlook considerations such as where the gifts we are buying are sourced from and how they are manufactured. Furthermore, simple details such as where the gift wrapping is derived from or what can be reused or re-purposed as gift wrapping are also considerations.  I also find myself questioning whether my choices of gifts are useful, needed and made to last. There are so many aspects of Christmas and the resulting environmental impacts I could discuss but today I’m going to focus on Christmas trees.

As each Christmas passes, I increasingly wrestle with the long held family tradition of buying a real Christmas tree vs. my environmental conscience. For the last four years over the Christmas period I have either had a newborn baby or we have been doing some sort of home renovation.  We haven’t planned it this way; it’s just how things have worked out.  Needless to say it always seems to be beyond hectic at this time of year and I could use that as an excuse for my decision to take the traditional option of purchasing real Christmas trees, but if I’m honest I do struggle to part with a beautiful smelling fresh Christmas tree.

Knowing that I wrestle with this decision my husband has tried to talk me into a plastic tree a couple of times. However, I’m not a big fan of all things plastic and I have my doubts (albeit subjective) of the environmental credentials of a plastic tree. So I decided to put this to the test and do some reading on the subject to determine which is the more sustainable option – ...

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