London’s Christmas Tree Rental Provides A Solution That Solves The Real VS. Artificial Tree Debate
The Christmas tree is an age-old tradition that has not only become the symbol of Christmas—right next to Santa Claus, the mistletoe, and others—but has also become a key figure of any household.
And Christmas trees come in all shapes and sizes: the spruce, pine, or fir trees used are either artificial, electronic (you know, like using Christmas lights), or living, they can range from being a couple to dozens of feet high, and, believe it or not, there are even “half” and “quarter” Christmas trees. Yes, I was being quite literal when I said “shapes.”
But it doesn’t end there. If you’re a fan of the real thing, but want to be environmentally conscious, there’s even a solution for that—renting. Yes, turns out, in London, you can rent a tree that comes to your home in a pot, and returns to the wild once the festivities are over and waits for the next year.
Turns out, people can rent a Christmas tree for the holidays, after which it’s returns to its farm or forest
PhD student and Twitter user Alexandra Lautarescu (@AleLautarescu) recently went to Twitter to share her joy and fascination with what she called a “sustainable X-Mas gem.” She posted a picture of a roughly 6-foot Christmas tree she got from the London Christmas Tree Rental that was waiting to be decorated.
In the tweet, she explained that the London Christmas Tree Rental lets people rent a tree in a pot. Then, in January, it goes back to live on the farm, awaiting its next Advent season. When the tree reaches 7 feet, it is retired and returns back to nature by being planted in a forest. The tweet ended up going viral immediately, getting over 62,000 likes and 7.3k retweets.
Twitter user A. Lautarescu recently shared her joy of a tree she rented from the London Christmas Tree Rental, after which the tweet went viral
And speaking of the rental service, it was founded by Jonathan Mearns and Catherine Loveless, with whom Bored Panda got in touch for an interview. One January, Jonathan and Catherine took a stroll through the streets of London and noticed what could only be called a graveyard of Christmas trees—used and discarded after the holidays.
They thought to themselves that there must be a way to do Christmas trees differently. “We explored the rental concept and in our research we learned that 7 million cut trees go into landfill each year and when they rot they emit greenhouse gasses. The average rotting 6ft tree produces 16kg of CO2. When we realized this, we felt we had to try and make this rental idea work,” explained Chatherine Loveless, co-founder of London Christmas Tree Rental.
The way it goes is a person orders one of four sizes of trees—3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 feet in height, each size very aptly named Mr. Kensington, Miss Fulham, Mr. Westminster, Miss Islington, and Mr. Bromley appropriately. The shortest, the 3-foot Mr. Kensingon, costs £39 or just a bit over $50, while the tallest, the 6-foot Miss Islington, runs at £69 or $92 for the Christmas season.
The London Christmas Tree Rental, founded by Jonathan Mearns and Catherine Loveless, aims to reduce the amount of Christmas trees that end up in landfills
“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!”
Then the living tree of your choice is delivered to your doorstep for you to place wherever you want around the house (avoid warmer parts of the room or else the tree will think spring came early) and to decorate however you please. Just make sure you also water it with about half a liter of water a day (it comes with its own drip plate, so things won’t get messy.)
Once the season is over, you then set up a time to have the company come pick up the tree, give you back the £30 or $40 deposit, given that the tree hasn’t been obliterated by the kids, the pets, and/or that one family Christmas dinner that nobody talks about. And if you liked the tree, you can reserve it for next season!
Co-Founder Catherine Loveless said the average rotting 6ft tree produces 16kg of CO2 and there’s around 7M of them annually in landfills
“All the trees are returned to the farm in January where they are cared for till the following year. If a customer has liked their tree, then it can return to them the following year. 97% of these rollover trees survived the 2 heatwaves this summer and were able to return to customers this year. They become part of the family and the customer is excited to see how much it has grown,” said Catherine.
Now, Catherine did explain that their business has two delivery options—one is where a customer can come to a local pop-up hub and choose the tree they have paid for, but this means that the customer will also need a car and the pot weighs a lot, while the other option is to rent it blind online and to have it delivered to you. And we both know Christmas trees are such a subjective thing.
BUT, despite this, this way you’re making sure your Christmas tree isn’t one of the aforementioned 7 million that have been cut down and met their fate in a local landfill, but one that will continue living and helping fight climate change.
The company offers several sizes of Christmas trees, each named after London’s smallest to biggest boroughs
And if you’re wondering how you can turn this into an educational thing for the kids, the people at the London Christmas Tree Rental got you covered:
“We have a sister company, Holly Berry Trees, where Holly Berry, who is Father Christmas’s next door neighbour, posts out mini pot grown Christmas trees. These are predominantly to children and come with lights, decorations, reindeer poop (compost) and a beautifully illustrated story about life in the North Pole living next to Santa,” elaborated Catherine.
She continued: “They are not rented, but bought. After Christmas, the child can either keep the tree in it’s pot and it can come back into the house again the following year, or they can plant it directly into the garden. It is the child’s own tree, to name and care for. It educates the child from a young age to the importance of the environment and learning to care for something living, whilst wrapped up in a magical Christmas character.”
Depending on the size, renting a tree for the holidays will net you anywhere between £39 and £69 ($50–$92)
If you happen to live in the London area and haven’t got a Christmas tree yet, why not get in touch with the London Christmas Tree Rental? You can also follow them on the various social media that they’re on, including Facebook and Instagram.
But before you go decorating and Christmas shopping, why not let us know what you thought about this and what Christmas tree you’re going for this year in the comment section below!
People online loved the idea of a Christmas tree that they can rent just for the holiday season