There’s nothing quite like the scent of a real Christmas tree in your home over the festive season, and while the debate still rages over whether real or fake options are more sustainable, the fact remains that you’d have to use your fake tree for well over a decade – and then dispose of it responsibly – to balance out its carbon footprint. Real trees, on the other hand, reduce the production of plastic, and are carbon positive up until the point of delivery. If you want to check your tree has been grown sustainably, look for FSC-certification logo. Otherwise, here are our top five ethically-focussed sellers in London.
This ethically-focussed online garden centre sells pot-grown Norway Spruces cultivated here in the UK. By choosing pot grown, you can either replant your tree in your garden at the end of the holidays, or leave it in its pot to use again next year, reducing wastage. Even better, each of these trees is hand-delivered by electric van free of charge to help keep that carbon footprint to a minimum. You can also order lights and decorations through them, too.
This eco-friendly, family-run producer based in Richmond partners with TreeAid, so that for every tree they sell, they donate enough for one to be planted in Africa, helping tackle the climate crisis and provide food and income to alleviate poverty there. Back in the UK, it also plants a tree for every one cut down, and works on a sustainable nine-year harvest cycle to allow for a more stable habitat that welcomes wildlife.
As well as offering sustainable, British, pot-grown trees for you to buy conveniently online, Green Elf will donate £3 for every tree purchased to the charity of your choice out of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, Shelter or Dog’s Trust. Carbon emissions from deliveries are offset, and their ‘responsible tree removal service’ means that trees are recycled at the end of the festive season. What’s more, they are currently prioritising their job opportunities for out of work musicians and entertainers, too.
Sustainably sourcing its trees through NeedleFresh – a grower which minimizes its use of pesticides to protect flora, fauna and waterways – On Cloud Pine promises at least two trees will be planted for every one cut down. Fuel emissions are offset and the brand is committed to using exclusively electric vehicles in the next three years. What’s more, it also partners with The Royal Parks charity, so by buying through On Cloud Pine you’ll be helping protect London’s green spaces.
Setting up shop at multiple sites across London, Pines and Needles is a great option if you want a festive outing to pick your own sustainable tree this season. Carbon positive throughout the year, Pines and Needles remains carbon neutral even after the festive season as all emissions from transport are offset by their growing plantations. They also focus on offering organically grown trees from sustainable British forests, all of which can be recycled through the company afterwards.