Real or artificial: Which Christmas tree wins among Canadians?

Do you celebrate Christmas, and if so, do you decorate a Christmas tree at home?

In mid-November 2019, we asked Canadians aged 18 or older a series of questions about their Christmas habits and preferences, including:

We asked those who celebrate Christmas whether they’ve decorated or plan to decorate a Christmas tree in their home this year. Four-in-five (81%) mentioned that they (or someone else in their household) either already have (16%) or plan to (65%) as of November 19, 2019.

Are Canadians decorating a Christmas tree this year graphic

In Canada, decorating Christmas trees has only been common since the 1930s, although the practice goes back centuries.[1] Compared to 1930, though, there are seemingly endless choices when it comes to tree decorating: large or small trees, lights or no lights, colour schemes, tree toppers, and more.

There are also two types of Christmas trees: real and artificial. Which one do you think is more commonly decorated by Canadians who celebrate Christmas?rotating christmas tree

Real or artificial Christmas tree? That is the question!

When deciding on the type of tree they’d like to get, one factor that may cross Canadians’ minds is whether their tree is environmentally friendly. Because having a real tree means cutting one down, and artificial trees are reusable, some may think that artificial trees are better for the environment.

A recent article by Emily Chung for CBC News analyzes the findings of two studies about whether real or artificial trees are a greener option: “one funded by the American Christmas Tree Association, which represents artificial tree manufacturers, and [the other by] environmental consulting firm Ellipsos.” These studies found that:

“A real tree generates fewer greenhouse gas emissions per Christmas than an artificial one, but that changes if you keep your artificial tree for longer, since the emissions are divided over many years. To minimize the carbon impact, the studies say you should keep the same artificial tree for at least eight years, and preferably more than 20.” [2]

We asked Canadians who celebrate Christmas (and have decorated/will decorate a tree in their home) whether the tree they are decorating is real or artificial. Four times as many (80%) have decorated/will decorate an artificial tree, compared to a real one (19%).

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Survey Methodology

This online survey of 1,513 Canadians aged 18+ was conducted from November 15-19, 2019, using the Leger web panel (Leger Opinion). The data are weighted to ensure a representative sample of the population. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of n=1,513 would have a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.

The numbers presented have been rounded. However, the numbers before rounding are used to calculate the totals presented. Therefore, the sums may not correspond to the manual addition of the numbers presented.

GIF Credits: Giphy




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