Company Offers Really Green Christmas Trees

Discussion
Nov 06, 2009
George Anderson

By George Anderson

There’s a company
in Los Angeles that sells really green Christmas trees and offers amazing
service in the process. It delivers trees to the homes of customers
and then picks them up once the holiday is over. And best yet, no trees
are harmed in this process because The Living Christmas Company’s trees
are transplanted alive and delivered in pots, according to Springwise.

Each
year, 20 million Christmas trees are chopped down and discarded in some fashion
following the holidays. Scott Martin, AKA Scotty Claus and the owner of Living
Christmas, said the company’s mission is “to
change the way California celebrates Christmas.”

Customers can
go for a greener Christmas by ordering from a selection of trees on
the company’s site. Sizes of trees range in the three to eight-foot
area and prices are said to be comparable to trees that are cut down
for the holidays. Five varieties of trees, including Aleppo Pine, Blue
Cedar, Leylandi Cypress, Little Sequoia and Monterey Pine, are available
for rental.

Living Christmas
also offers other items, including gift wrap, stocking stuffers and
ornaments, on its site.

Discussion
Question: Will Living Christmas change the way California celebrates
Christmas and is this a concept that will work elsewhere across
the U.S.?

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12 Comments on "Company Offers Really Green Christmas Trees"


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Joan Treistman
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

This seems like a “no brainer” that someone with brains had to conjure up. Unless the cost is prohibitive, Really Green Christmas Trees will be successful.

It contains ingredients of success such as incredible convenience to obtain and discard the tree, bringing an authentic Christmas tree into the home, feel the good value of no harm to the environment, and the opportunity to “personally” select the type and size of tree.

Californians have always had the pity position around Christmas because of the temperature and Hollywood’s lack of snow. If the population bought into that, they’ll love the opportunity to have a picture-perfect Christmas.

There are certainly other parts of the country where there are parallels, e.g. Florida. There will always be those for whom authenticity means buying your own tree. But even here in New York City, I can imagine that there would be a strong interest in the convenience of Really Green Christmas Trees.

Marge Laney
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

When I was a kid in Connecticut, my mother got on a kick and we had a live Christmas tree for a couple of years. They were expensive back then and afterward, my father had to keep it alive in the garage until the ground thawed enough in the spring to plant it; not an easy or popular task. After a couple of years my parents decided they had enough “Christmas Trees” in the yard and abandoned the idea. Renting one is a new twist, but it seems time consuming when scheduling delivery and pickup, and costly. I think it’s a nice idea, but I wonder just how much it will catch on because of the likes of Walmart selling cut trees for the price of delivery of a live one.

Mel Kleiman
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

My first thought was that this will never make it but after looking at the site, if they can deliver the product at the price point they are talking about, they have a great chance at changing the way consumers purchase their Christmas tree.

Len Lewis
Guest
Len Lewis
11 years 6 months ago

At the risk of offending the environmentalists out there, trees are no different than any other commodity–it’s a discounting business. I can get a 6-foot tree for half of what they charge and the closer you get to the holiday, the lower the price, due to all the competition out there.

I know, I know–I’m an environmental philistine. But business is business and this ain’t it. Maybe we should rent toys to kids for the holidays?

By the way, what do they sell once Christmas is over?

David Livingston
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

I looked at the website. I can’t figure out how they are making a profit. For what they are charging, how do they stay in business the other eleven months of the year? Their web site also talks about all the money they are giving away. It’s eco this, and fair trade that, etc. All the buzz words to attract the small consumer group of green extremists.

I’m sure this company is comprised of well-meaning individuals but I sense a lack of capitalism. I’m wondering if a more savvy business person can do the same thing at a lower price by skipping out on using bio-fuel trucks and fair trade ornaments….

Ralph Jacobson
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

To respond to Len Lewis’ final question, they go to Disneyland and enjoy their millions…if this gig actually succeeds. I do like the idea, especially with the sustainability interest across the country, and around the world. So, yes, this could work in other regions. They just have to work out the operational kinks to make it profitable.

Cathy Hotka
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

Depends on what it costs. I can get a cut tree for $29 and get the mulch from my city afterward…what does it cost to rent a live tree?

Mark Burr
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

Not a bad niche. Will it change the way Californians celebrate Christmas? Maybe for a few. A mere $110 bucks for the green fanatic isn’t such a bad deal. Will it catch on for the masses? Nah. It is, however, well intentioned and how many do they really need to sell to be successful? They may do just fine.

However, it sure would take the fun out of it for Michiganders that like to go out on December 23 in the worst weather possible and pick a tree up at the corner stand for $20 bucks, put it up on the 24th, and take it down on New Years’ Day and drop it off at the recycle center. It would be hard to break that tradition. Not to mention the pine needles that serve as air freshener in the car until spring. How could I possibly give that up?

James Tenser
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

This is an idea born perhaps of good conscience, but not one that is destined for greatness, I think.

While killing hundreds of thousands of small conifers for the holiday seems wasteful on its face, the old way may be ultimately “greener” than shipping and reclaiming potted trees.

Live trees in pots of soil must be heavier and bulkier and ship a fraction as many to a truckload compared with cut trees. The costs of care and return process also contribute to a higher carbon footprint.

Considering all forms of impact then, it may be ultimately greener to cut trees and chip them after the season. The resultant mulch should be used to help grow new trees or otherwise recycled, not added to landfills.

I’d gladly be proved wrong about this by live-tree advocates, but with facts, not slogans.

Remember, when it comes to your personal carbon footprint, holding your breath is greener than breathing….

Doron Levy
Guest
Doron Levy
11 years 6 months ago

There must be a market for this, especially on the West Coast. I mean that is if people still want live trees in their house. Walmart and Costco push out so many fake trees in a year, it may not make any sense to go out and purchase a live one each year. Isn’t California suffering heavily from the downturn? On my Retailer’s Rights of Merchandising they have the right product and right location but they don’t have the right time.

Kevin Graff
Guest
11 years 6 months ago

Maybe it’s because I’ve been to 3 conferences in the past 3 weeks where sustainability and environmentalism were a main theme, that I like this idea. There’s a strong business case to be made with this whole ‘green’ movement and there seems to be enough momentum in the consumer group to make this somewhat viable. I don’t see millions of dollars in their future but for a small entrepreneur, that might not be their holy grail.

Make a living, save the planet, feel good about yourself. Not every small retailer sets out to conquer the world.

John Crossman
Guest
John Crossman
11 years 6 months ago

If they deliver to Florida, I will take two of them. I love the idea and would use it.

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