We all love trimming our Christmas trees at this time of year, but is it better to buy a real tree or opt for one of those cheap artificial ones? Well the no nonsense news is that the greenest and most eco friendly option is to buy the real thing. So what if you get the odd pine needle on your carpet? You really can?t beat the joy of picking up your fresh tree, smelling that lovely pine in your room and really getting into the spirit of Christmas. You might think that buying an artificial tree and then using it for a few years is a better recycling option, but think again. Although artificial trees last for an average of 6 years, they?re made of bad things like metal and derivatives of PVC that require loads of energy to make and are not naturally biodegradable. These materials could potentially pollute a landfill site for generations to come. Real trees are carbon neutral, absorbing as much CO2 as they grew as they emit when they are burnt or left to decompose. They are also a wildlife habitat and a naturally renewable resource, and generally feel much nicer in your home. They can be planted in your garden after Christmas, and even used again next year. In 2006, a whopping 6 million Christmas trees took pride of place in British homes and offices. From this total, only a measly 10% were recycled and fewer than 5% planted to be re-used next year. So, don?t go fake, buy fir!