Every year we buy a staggering 8 million real Christmas trees, most of which are dumped just a few weeks later. So, why not rent a Christmas tree instead?
Not only is this a tremendous waste of resources, but the cost of disposal is eye-watering – an estimated £14 million to send faded firs and sad spruces to landfill.
Plus, as they rot down, the trees release harmful greenhouse gases.
According to the Carbon Trust, a 2m-tall cut Christmas tree that ends up in landfill has a 16kg carbon footprint – that’s around the same as taking three return flights from London to Australia!
So this year, why not make your mantra ‘A tree is not just for Christmas’, and think about hiring one?
It might sound bizarre, but this it works like this: you go to your nearest supplier, take home a rentable pot-grown tree, enjoy it for the festive period, then return – where it can carrying on growing during the year, ready to be used again in next year’s celebrations.
Just make sure your tree is British, reared as locally as possible and grown sustainably by checking it has an FSC or Soil Association log.
If renting a Christmas tree isn’t a realistic option for you, look out for Christmas tree farms that offer the option for you to return your tree, so it can be shredded and chipped.
Many local councils will also collect trees so they can be recycles into bark chippings and compost for local parks, which reduced the carbon footprint to 3.5kg
Aside from your classic Christmas tree farms, where you’ll pick up a tree to buy and keep for as long as you want, there are a few places to rent a Christmas tree across the UK. Here’s our pick of the best:
Where to rent a Christmas tree
Love a Christmas tree, Leicester
Companies like Leicester-based Love a Christmas Tree are renting out Nordmann firs from £20 (2ft 6in) to £35 (4ft to 4ft 6in), plus extra for delivery and/or pick-up.
London Christmas tree rental, London
London Christmas Trees offers Norway spruce, specially suited to being pot grown, and with a proper Christmassy pine smell. Prices start at £35 for Mr Kensington (yes, the trees have names), a 3ft tree, plus £20 deposit.
Cotswold Fir, Gloucester
If you’re in the south-west, check out Cotswold Fir in Gloucester, which has been supplying ‘Trees for Life’ for several years. Its ‘Rental Claus’ service begins in mid-December, as the trees (Norway spruces) need to stay outside for as long as possible. Prices start from £20 for at 3ft, plus a deposit of £15 – which is refunded when you return your tree in good condition (they need to be watered daily and kept away from heat sources, eg, radiators). Alternatively, leave your deposit and get the same tree next year – but remember it will have grown a bit bigger!
Rental Christmas trees, Stroud
You can bag yourself a premium rental tree at this Gloucester-based farm. The shop only sells one potted tree for rent, a potted Norway Spruce, which you’ll need to water every day once it’s home. The trees at Rental Christmas Trees range in size from 3ft to 7ft, and with the price of each tree (they start from £42), there’s also a £15 deposit which is returned to you once you give the tree back, when Christmas is over.
Would you consider renting a Christmas tree this year? Head over to Facebook and let us know what you think.