"It is the manufacture of the plastic tree, from oil, which creates most of its carbon footprint; around two thirds, according to Dr John Kazer of the Carbon Trust. Another quarter is created by the industrial emissions produced when the tree is made. They are also often shipped long distances before arriving in the shop and then your home. A 6.5ft artificial tree has a carbon footprint equivalent to about 40kg of greenhouse gas emissions – which is more than twice that of a real tree that ends its life in landfill and more than 10 times that of a real tree which is burnt. Most local authorities now offer a collection service for real trees which they shred and use on gardens and parks – the greenest way to dispose of your real tree. A real tree that is recycled – by chipping – or is kept growing in a pot or the garden, can have negligible or even negative emissions, according to Kazer. But a 6.5ft tall real tree could result in a carbon footprint of 16kg CO2 if it ends up in landfill because the tree decomposes and produces methane gas – which is 25 times more potent as a greenhouse gas than CO2. When buying a real tree, Friends of the Earth advise to look for one that is locally produced, or at least grown in the UK with an FSC certification to avoid emissions from transporting and importing."