Christmas trees remain the cornerstone of holiday decorations but a move to sustainably-sourced trees is helping to offset carbon emissions and help our local farmers after the floods. As ethical concerns become increasingly important to shoppers, some are considering if the greener choice for a Christmas tree is a real, fresh pine tree or a plastic, reusable one. Plastic trees are a popular option as they can be reused each year. However, fake trees are usually made from PVC - a plastic derived from fossil fuels. Emissions are created from its production and transportation because it's most likely to have been made overseas. Most plastic trees are made in China. Overall, it's estimated a fake tree creates more than 10 to 20 times more CO2 than a real tree, and it takes about 10 to 15 years to offset that carbon footprint. Real trees, however, take carbon out of the atmosphere by merely maturing. They can be recycled, and turned into mulch. Merlino's Christmas Trees is a family owned business, growing, supplying and selling real Christmas trees from Wareemba in NSW for more than 50 years. Robert Darrigo operates Merlino's Christmas Trees with his wife Cherie Merlino. "We rotate the crop, so for every tree we cut, we're replanting that tree," Mr Darrigo said. The farm raises money for The Sydney Children's Hospital through donations each year, and has raised more than $18,000 over the last eight years. IN OTHER NEWS: Sustainability concerns should incorporate emissions, waste, and labour conditions, with an emphasis on local production according to Sustainability Victoria. Many Australian farmers across NSW, Victoria and Tasmania have sustained crop damage from the most recent flooding events in November. "I've never seen it this wet on the farm. We've had drought and bushfires so the last few years have been tough," Mr Darrigo said. Many councils around Australia organise curbside pick up of Christmas trees in the new year, or you can hold onto them until your next scheduled hard rubbish collection. Some cut tree suppliers will also take back used trees for mulching.