When it comes to Christmas trees, the question of whether to choose real or fake can be debated in terms of what is best for the environment. One alternative that is gaining popularity is renting a Christmas tree. In London, there is a company called London Christmas Tree Rental that grows 1,000 trees in pots on a farm. These trees are then rented out during the festive period for roughly the same price as a cut tree. When they are not being rented, they go back to the farm. This way, having a tree that is alive and can be used year after year is obviously a much better option than growing a tree, cutting it down, and then disposing of it through burning, discarding, or composting.
“The trees have names based on London boroughs according to their size. Our smallest tree, Mr. Kensington is because Chelsea and Westminster is the smallest borough in London. Mr Bromley, our mighty 7 footer is due to Bromley being the largest borough. Miss Fulham comes in at a delightful 4ft, Mr Westminster is our 5 footer, and Miss Islington is our 6 footer,” elaborated Catherine. “We encourage the family to give them first names so that they can welcome them into the home each Christmas, on the whole, the trees are very well behaved and make perfect house guests!”
In the UK alone, around 8 million real Christmas trees are cut down and sold each year. However, come January, an estimated 7 million of them end up in landfills. Cut Christmas trees emit greenhouse gases as they rot, with a six-foot tree emitting roughly 16 kilograms of CO2.
On the other hand, artificial trees are not necessarily a great alternative either. In order to have a lower environmental impact than a real tree, a plastic tree would need to be reused at least 10 times.
In comparison, rental trees could be the most sustainable option. London Christmas Tree Rental has many customers who come back year after year to rent the same tree. They even encourage people to give their tree a name. This personal connection and sense of ownership make the experience more enjoyable for families.
Image credits: London Christmas Tree Rental