Christmas has always been a time of excess and over-indulging - but it needn't have to be.
For many households, the Christmas tree is the centrepiece of the festive season, standing proudly in the corner of our living rooms from December (or even earlier, if you're so inclined). Decorated with lights, tinsel and baubles, with stacks of presents underneath, our festive trees are where the magic happens.
However, as we rush out to buy the tallest, bushiest fir tree (for a reasonable sum anyway), few of us stop to think about the impact using a real tree has on the environment.
According to the Carbon Trust, a 2m-tall cut Christmas tree that ends up in landfill has a 16kg carbon footprint - the equivalent of taking three return flights from London to Australia.
Research by the London Cleaning System has also revealed that over six million Christmas trees are discarded every year, amounting to the equivalent of a staggering 250 tonnes - and that's not including all the other waste that comes with the festive season.
But that doesn't mean we should forgo having a tree altogether (goodness knows we need some festive spirit after this year), with people now choosing to rent Christmas trees as the latest eco-friendly trend.
How do you do it? Well, go to your Christmas tree supplier as usual, take home a rentable pot-grown tree, enjoy it for the festive period, then return - where it can carrying on growing during the year, ready to be used again in next year's celebrations.
There's a few outlets in the UK that are currently offering this service, including Love a Christmas tree, Leicester which rent fir trees from just £20 upwards.
London Christmas Tree also offers trees for rent for £35 upwards, as well as Cotswold Fir, Gloucester, for £20.
Recycling your Christmas tree may also be an option to help you cut down on your festive waste.
Many local councils will also collect trees so they can be recycles into bark chippings and compost, reducing their carbon footprint to around 3.5kg.
Other options to consider include mulching the needles, which can be shaken off into your garden to decompose, or, if you're particularly intrepid, using your tree trunk to create Christmas coasters.
And if you want to get a tree you want to reuse over and over again, it may be worth considering buying an artificial tree.
According to Recycle Now, fake trees are made from a combination of materials and therefore cannot be recycled.
But if you do decide to use fake fir, however, make sure you invest in a high-quality artificial tree that can be used for several years. This will help to minimise waste in the long run.
In other tree news, people have been warned to look out for a "walnut-sized" brown lump on your tree, which looks something like a pine cone.
It might look pretty harmless, but inside this bark-coloured mass could well be a whole bunch of praying mantis eggs.
Be sure to be mindful of your tree this Christmas!
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