It is part of the tradition that is deeply rooted in Italy. On December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, houses are illuminated with the lights of Christmas trees. In fact, 9 out of 10 (85%) Italian families choose to decorate their home with a tree, although there is a distinction between real or fake, small and large, traditional or innovative decorations.
This emerges from a survey by Coldiretti/Ixè on Italian consumption on the occasion of the holiday that officially marks the start of the Christmas season.
63% of Italians take the plastic tree out of the cellar
The natural tree will find a place in the homes of almost 3 million families this year, even if – points out Coldiretti – the majority of 63% of Italians recycle the plastic tree salvaged from the cellar, while a minority buys it new and fake.
The plastic tree pollutes ten times more than a real tree
An artificial tree of about 1.90 meters – explains Coldiretti – has a carbon footprint equivalent to about 40 kilos of greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than ten times that of a real tree that lives and breathes, and instead contributes to the pollutants also in the domestic area to reduce air.
What accounts for the largest part of the carbon footprint of the plastic tree, Coldiretti emphasizes, is its production, starting with the oil, to which are added the industrial emissions generated during the manufacture of the tree and its transport over long distances before delivery to the workshop , if we take this into account, it should be taken into account that the majority comes from China, about nine thousand kilometers from Italy.
In addition, degradation in the environment takes over 200 years, which contributes to the spread of microplastics in the soil, water and the food chain.
Coldiretti: Real tree combines tradition and environment
The natural Italian tree, on the other hand, balances respect for tradition with that of the environment, since – says Coldiretti – it is grown mainly in mountainous and hilly areas in peripheral areas that would otherwise be destined for neglect, and to improve the hydrogeological structure of the Region contributes to hills and fight erosion and fires.
In Italy, the cultivation of the Christmas tree is mainly concentrated in Tuscany (arezzo and Pistoia provinces) and Veneto.
The average cost of a real tree: 44 euros
The average spend of Italians on a real tree is 44 euros, but prices vary depending on the height and variety, with the smallest firs, which are no more than one and a half meters long, according to Coldiretti, selling for between 10 and 60 euros depending on the size, the presence of the roots and, if necessary, the pot; for plants over two meters tall, the price for certain varieties even rises to 200 euros.
The number of Italians using natural decorations is increasing
With the green transition of Italians, driven by the pandemic, the number of people is increasing who resort to natural decorations, where there are no safety risks, the traditions of the past are rediscovered and the environment is respected.
Instead of using the usual artificial balls, light bulbs and plastic threads as decorations – suggests Coldiretti – you can use natural decorations such as apples of different colors and citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, tangerines and clementines.
Finally, instead of the usual silver or gold threads, you can also use flower garlands made from poinsettias, gerberas, dogwoods, ranunculus and butcher’s broom.