Here is Russell, our local Christmas Tree grower, with his top 5 tips for making sure your carbon footprint remains as low as possible when choosing a tree this year.
Christmas creates so much waste. GWP group say in their latest blog that 125 tonnes of plastic wrapping are discarded over the Christmas period in the UK.
Overall it is estimated that the UK generates around 30% more waste over the festive period.
Did you know that according to one survey carried out in 2014, 14% of people who buy an artificial tree will discard it after one use!
Have things changed? We popped along to our local Christmas Tree Farm to speak to Russell Parkins who is a grower and seller of Christmas trees. We wanted to find out whether he thinks attitudes are changing and if people are more conscious about their Christmas Carbon Footprint.
“Absolutely”, says Russell. “It’s early December and I have sold more pot grown trees than I did the whole of last season. Without a doubt people are considering how they can minimise their impact on the environment during Christmas. Obviously with a pot grown tree you can re-plant it in your garden.”
Russell explained to us that as an industry, one of the biggest challenges farmers and growers face is how to reduce their use of plastics. Being outside all the time, they need materials that are durable and can withstand the elements. One such challenge comes in the form of the netting that a real Christmas trees are wrapped in, allowing you to carry it and transport it easily.
“There have been previous so-called eco-friendly netting products out there for some time.” Russel explains. “But whilst they breakdown, they do so into micro plastics…which as we all know now are just as harmful as solid plastics when discarded. But we have managed to source a plant-based plastic which can be composted, and I’ve just secured enough to cover 100% of our requirements for next season”.
Russell is also keen to encourage his suppliers to reduce their single use plastics. Even the price tags on his trees are all now recyclable.
Russell is a member of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association (BCTGA) who are the industry voice for quality, locally grown Christmas trees in the UK.
We spoke to Heather Parry, Managing Director of the BCTGA. Heather explained, “As British farmers and growers, our members should be part of the solution to tackling climate change – not part of the problem. Afterall, buying a locally grown, real Christmas tree and then recycling it afterwards is a virtually carbon neutral process - and that’s what we champion.”
Thank you to Russell and the Dane End Christmas Tree farm for contributing to our video.