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Don’t Buy Your Christmas Tree: Rent a Live One!


Happy Holidays! This is my favorite time of year and, in my opinion, it just got a lot better.

Did you know this?

New York City was the site of the country’s very first Christmas tree retail lot. In 1851, entrepreneur Mark Carr hauled two sleds loaded with pine trees from the Catskills and sold them in Manhattan.

Today, bundled evergreens line the streets of New York City from Thanksgiving through Christmas. The scent of evergreen mingles with the odors of taxi exhaust and urine (ahhh, New York during the holidays). Trees are sold from retail lots, from the backs of trucks, and from makeshift displays at local bodegas and stores.

I was watching a fantastic TV show called Shark Tank, where inventors and entrepreneurs pitch their companies to investors, and I saw a pitch for Living Christmas. If you haven’t gotten your tree yet – this is way better and more eco-friendly than buying a dead tree. Now you can have a *live* tree actually living in the corner of your living room – and you can even ask for the same tree each year, like it’s a visiting member of the family.

This company will deliver your tree and pick it up for you, and you get a tree that’s actually alive. If you believe in energy, this is the way to go. An added perk: they give veterans jobs when they most need work — the holidays. Yet another thing to feel good about this Christmas.

The only bummer is that they only deliver in Los Angeles, for now. But I did find other similar companies in San Diego, San FranciscoPortland, the UK, and Vancouver doing the same thing.

I also found some eco-friendly Christmas tree tips (did you know that artificial trees contain toxic chemicals??) and instructions for how to get a potted tree for other areas of the country. This seems like a good business opportunity for entrepreneurs who want to work with nurseries in other parts of the country…

The Vancouver company cites five reasons for renting a live Christmas tree:

  1. It’s alive. The trees keep on growing. You can even request to have your tree back the following year. When your tree becomes too big to live in its pot, it will be planted outside where it can continue to grow, sequestering carbon and converting greenhouse gases to life-giving oxygen.
  2. Ultimate convenience.  Tree delivery and pick-up to and from your living room or business. It’s that simple. Avoid a trip across town and the hassle of wrestling a tree to the roof of your car.
  3. Locally grown. These truly are ‘green’ Christmas trees as minimal energy is used to bring your environmentally friendly tree to you.
  4. No mess. Unlike cut trees, live trees are not a significant fire hazard. Consider them like a house plant: alive and actively transpiring. All you need to do is to make sure your tree gets water.
  5. Forget that old tree stand. The sturdy pots our trees grow in negate any need for a stand or support. Your tree is ready to decorate as soon as it is set down on your living room floor.

If you want more info, you can read all about it in the NY Times. And remember: every eco-friendly change you make helps — no change is too small to make a difference 🙂

Love, Hilary

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