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Eco-Friendly Rent A Living Christmas Tree A New Tradition?
by Chris Malone,posted Dec 4 2012 5:16AM
At a very young age I bonded well with Dr Seuss's The Lorax story and the destruction of the Truffula trees. I think it is why I feel horrible about buying a once living Christmas tree. Ironically the 33 million pine tress chopped down each year for Christmas is a much better option for the environment than artificial trees that are made with toxic chemicals and shipped across the world. But what do you think about renting a live Christmas tree in the near future?
The business model is something like this. Local companies grow their trees in nurseries. The live trees are then placed in pots and delivered to customers, sometimes complete with decorations, for the holiday season. Customers care for the trees while they're at home, making sure the trees are watered and healthy. At the end of the season, the trees are returned and kept growing for another year and another rental. Perhaps you could keep renting the same tree.
After about seven years, when the trees are too big to keep renting, they are planted and allowed to continue growing.
This idea of renting living Christmas trees is now in it's 4th year at Rent A Living Tree LLC . The San Francisco, California company says they expect to break even for the first time this year. They have 2,000 trees available and estimate they will rent about half of them.
Tree rental is not always the cheapest alternative. A 7-foot Norway spruce costs $89.99 from Rent a Living Tree, whose smallest trees start at $54.99 plus delivery. But they also come with several built-in advantages, according to The Original Living Christmas Tree Company, which operates in the Portland, Oregon area. They say potted trees are harder for pets to knock over. Live trees are also less of a fire hazard than cut trees, which can dry out quickly. They also clean the air and emit oxygen while they're in your home.
Perhaps in the next couple of years an eco-savvy entrepreneur in the Heart Of Florida will see this as an opportunity.