Live Christmas trees are much more popular in the United States than artificial trees, but there is a measure of guilt that comes with chopping down a tree and throwing it away shortly after the holidays. If you prefer a live Christmas tree but don’t want to cut down a new one each year, would you consider renting one? This is becoming a popular trend.
It may sound crazy, but live trees are often more eco-friendly than artificial trees due to the plastics used in manufacturing and the transportation from China, where most of them are made. This is what makes renting a tree so great – it’s surely the most sustainable option available for keeping up with the holiday tradition, while maintaining a small footprint and cleaning the air in your home.
Here’s how it works. Local companies grow pine trees in nurseries and deliver them in pots to customers. The customer cares for the tree while it’s in their home, making sure it is watered and stays healthy. At the end of the season, trees are returned and continue growing for another year. When a tree reaches a point where it’s too big for a home rental, it is planted in the ground.
Renting a tree isn’t exactly the cheapest option yet, however. The smallest tree rental at California-based Rent a Living Tree is $54.99, and one of the largest, a 7-foot Norway spruce, is $89.99. The company said in an interview with the Santa Cruz Sentinel that this is the first year they expect to break even, so if this trend does begin to catch on more, prices may drop.
The Adopt a Stream Foundation in Everett, Washington is also renting out trees at $35 each. Once they are returned, they will be planted along a salmon stream that provides shade and prevents erosion.
Are you a real tree, artificial tree, or no tree kind of person? Would you consider renting one if this service became available in your area?
Image: Rent A Living Christmas Tree