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Real vs. Fake: The Great Christmas Tree Debate

Are they real or fake? Most of us who celebrate the holidays with a Christmas tree have an opinion about which type of tree is better, so we decided to take a look at the climate impact of each to see if that should make a difference in your decision.

The winner?
It depends on how long you keep your artificial tree and how far you drive to purchase a tree.


Whether you opt for a real or fake tree, there’s a forest full of trees that we can all get behind: The City of Arcata Community Forest absorbs and stores approximately 2,500 more metric tons of C02 a year than neighboring forests, or the equivalent of taking 550 cars off the road each year.

Holiday Forest GiftPurchase a Holiday Forest bundle this holiday season and you’ll receive a 1 mT carbon offset from this project, a digital certificate and a plantable holiday tree tag made of parsley, basil and chive seeds!

View all carbon balanced holiday gifts >


The carbon footprint data was sourced from the Ellipsos Study: Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Artificial vs Natural Christmas Tree

Take the first step.

Start small. Be conscious of the impact your actions have on the environment and figure out what you can do to lessen the blow. Calculate, conserve, and offset.

For businesses, our Corporate Sustainability Plans can help you with your emission reduction goals.

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