The brainchild of four school buddies, the greener alternative allows families to order a live tree online for home delivery, which is collected and replanted in the new year. The venture, Treezmas, conceived over drinks two years ago, seeks to cut the piles of discarded trees in France, where about 4.8 million firs aged five to 10 years get chopped, shipped and dumped within five weeks each year. At Treezmas, the trees come in a pot, with a name — Arnold was the most popular this year – – an identity card and a chance at a second life in the forest.
Treezmas is part of a growing trend of such home-delivery and replanting ventures, mirroring similar efforts by Ecosapin in Switzerland and the Original Living Christmas Tree Co. in Eugene,Oregon. The companies are trying to address a Christmas contradiction: consumers worrying about waste and environmental damage, while also wanting a real tree under which to place their gifts for a traditional experience.
Currently, online rentals are a minor part of the 1.6 billion-euro ($2 billion) industry in Europe and will remain so for “some years to come,” said Claus Jerram Christensen, president of the Christmas Tree Grower Council Europe, with about 9,000 tree growers. “Going out with kids to buy a Christmas tree, you don’t get that experience on the Internet.”