Friday, December 25, 2009

Trees For Rent!

If anyone else is looking to lower their carbon footprint this (well at this point, next) holiday season then The Living Christmas Company may spark your interest. Instead of cutting down a tree and discarding it after a two or three week stay in your living room, the guys at Living Christmas Co. will deliver a potted tree of the desired size and species to your doorstep and come back to collect it at the end of the holiday season.

According to this New York Times article, company founder and landscape architect Scott Martin was unnerved by the sight of abandoned trees lying about after Christmas in his hometown of Los Angeles. Now he and his coworkers (mostly laid-off architect friends) don Santa hats, elf ears, and reindeer antlers and deliver trees all across LA. In only two years of operation, The Living Christmas Company has increased its inventory from a handful of trial customers last year to over 400 this season, and they had hoped to finish with around 500.

The carbon savings from this service are pretty obvious: instead of uprooting carbon-sequestering trees, Martin and his colleagues allow them to keep growing, continuing their life cycle (somewhere William McDonough is cheering). In fact, families who become attached to their trees are allowed to label them and welcome them back to their homes the following year.

Don't live in LA and don't have a tree rental service in your area? No problem. Try doing what my family did last year: we bought a small 3 or 4 foot potted tree and planted it in our backyard after the holiday.

What could be a better way to honor the spirit of Christmas than by celebrating nature instead of taking a little piece of it?

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