Renting a really green Christmas tree
Rent a tree. For Christmas. It's a fledgling industry, but it exists. These days you can rent a Christmas tree and enjoy the holiday guilt-free, knowing that you didn't have to kill a tree — or buy something artificial — to celebrate the season.
This idea isn't brand new. It's been around the Pacific Northwest and in British Columbia for years, buthas only recently taken root in northern and southern Caifornia and other parts of the country. The tree-rental business is picking up speed as eco-minded consumers seek out natural trees without the need to turn them into mulch later.
I absolutely love the concept. I've bought potted trees before, but ended up killing them either before or after I planted them post-holiday. Now, there are companies that deliver a live, potted tree to your home, in sizes ranging from 3 feet to 7 feet or more, and then they pick it up after the holidays and it is planted elsewhere.
The cost varies, but is roughly about the cost of buying a cut tree from one of those street-side vendors.
In Los Angeles, for instance, The Living Christmas Co. offers a range of trees, including 2-foot baby sequoias, hardy blue cedars, fragrant 7-foot Monterey pines and impressive 9-foot Turkish firs. The cost is between $25 and $258, plus delivery fees of $30 to $60. If you like your tree, you can essentially adopt it, and get the same tree back each year, and give your kids the thrill of seeing their tree grow a foot taller each year. Some companies add a barcode so that families can assure themselves of having the same tree year after year.
And to take it a step further, some companies also offer eco-friendly ornaments and gifts as well for a truly green Christmas.
So, deck the halls and all of that and be super green while doing it. 'Cause even the delivery trucks from some of the tree rental companies opt for bio-diesel fuel.
Teena Hammond Teena Hammond has published more than 2,000 articles in People and W magazines, Women's Wear Daily, and in dozens of newspapers and books. She also wrote a home improvement, remodeling and decor column that ran in Gannett newspapers nationwide. She's interested in all things green and would love to hear from you with your story ideas.