Yesterday on Springwise I read about The Living Christmas Company, which delivers living, potted Christmas trees to your home in southern California. They pick them up after the holidays, and replant them. In fact, a family can get the same tree year after year.
I tweeted about this clever idea, and the Twitter account Climate Smart pointed me to Carbonsync (yes, I am troubled by the inconsistent capitalization of their name on their site–let’s move on). They’re offering a similar delivery and pickup service to your home in and around Vancouver.
The Living Christmas Company doesn’t indicate pricing on their site (or, at least, I couldn’t find prices). Carbonsync offers their rental tree program for the princely sum of $125.99. It’s been a very long time since I bought a Christmas tree, but that seems pretty rich. How much does your average Christmas tree cost? $25? $40? Maybe $60 for a really fancy tree?
I’m usually happy to pay a green tax, but 100% feels a bit steep. If we assume that delivery and pickup cost $40 or $50, then I guess that’s in the ballpark. Still, that price point feels a little steep, doesn’t it?
Happily, we’re not really a tree-buying household, so I’ll remain $125.99 richer.
Your pricing is a pretty good guess for regular cut trees. I wonder whether the net carbon benefit of a potted tree like that, with transportation costs, is lower than getting a fake tree that you can use for a decade or two, or more.
Yeah, I wondered about that, too. The Slate’s Green Lantern blog, which covers these very questions, favours real trees over fake ones.
The past couple years, our trees were about $60 ($10/foot for a 6 foot tree), plus $10 or $15 for delivery. That was for the mid-priced tree.
I have no idea if there’s a “West-Side Tax” on that, like with so many other things, and if trees in the suburbs are cheaper. But I’m not about to pay double to have the potted tree brought to and fro.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, there’s an additional $10 disposal fee to return the tree to the lot it was purchased at. Dude chips the returned trees and sells the wood chips to… whoever buys woodchips. So I personally feel less guilty about a tree rotting away in a landfill, though I have no idea what most people do.
I was listening to an interview on CBC about live trees a while back. The tree expert they had on was saying that live trees brought from the cold into a nice, warm house for a couple of weeks and then repatriated back to the cold often, or in a colder climate, usually die because of the shock to their system.
They’re really not able to endure an entire years’ worth of seasons in less than a month.
Thanks all for the questions.
We did a test last year with good results regarding the survival rates of live trees brought inside over the holidays and then put back outside. 95% survived. It comes down to temperature degree days which cause the trees to think that it is time to grow. The fewer days the better our goal is to be in the 2-3 week range max.
As for the cost.
There is alot to cover on this topic. I would be more than happy to discuss whether we even make a profit this year as there are many uncertanties, our costs are not fixed yet, we dont know how many trees we will rent, as well as we havent determined the annual costs and planting cost.
One thing that is determined is that our business is to profit from storing carbon.
So our carbon footprint will be determined and will be offset by planting x number of trees in habitat restoration project. It is TBA.
After the holidays we will donate 10% of profits to the burns bog conservation soceity.
Thanks for the interest
We bought our own potted tree a couple years ago. Certainly cheaper than $126 (but it is a smaller tree – 3 to 4′ tall).
We bring it in to our (unheated) garage for a week or so before coming into the house, and do the reverse after Christmas. In a few years, we will plant it permanently in the back yard.
Sounds like a good idea! And convenient, too. I’d say, if you have a plastic one (I do) already–keep it and don’t add it to the landfill. If you don’t–don’t buy one and do something fun like “renting” one. Seems like a great gift, especially for a family! $125 bucks goes pretty quickly in the city.
Find the best Christmas value online at http://www.gardensandhomesdirect.co.uk/christmas/default.asp
A local company doing the same thing:
I currently have a horse rescue in Lake Elsinore, CA, and am interested in starting an eco-Friendly Christmas tree service in my area. Does anyone know of a wholesale nursery that carries potted Christmas trees in the area? Thanks. Joan 949) 683-5412
aggressive as men when they’re driving. They are a lot less likely to be the instigator in a road rage incident, for example. It truly is also
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