In the heart of London, a scout center buzzes with activity. Customers navigate muddy rows of Christmas trees, while newcomers ponder over the important decision of which tree to choose. Gone are the days when sustainability and real Christmas trees seemed contradictory, now, Londoners can have both.
With the increasing popularity of artificial trees for environmental reasons, those who prefer the authenticity of a real tree can now enjoy sustainability as well.
Instead of discarding their tree in January, they can return it to a new rental firm that will care for it until the following year. Customers simply have to “rent, water, return” their tree after Christmas, and the rental firm takes care of the rest, placing it back into irrigation for another year.
Jonathan Mearns, the founder of London Christmas Tree Rental and a former police officer specializing in counter-terrorism, initiated this venture in 2017.
Today, the business has amassed a devoted following of loyal customers who return each year. The trees are grown and maintained on a farm in the Cotswolds, situated in central England, before being brought back for the holiday season.
While the concept initially seemed outlandish, Mearns explained that interest in renting Christmas trees has experienced substantial growth over the years. The business offers real trees, admitting they may not be perfect, but emphasizing their authenticity.
For Mearns, the sight of abandoned brown trees in January, doomed to decompose, is disheartening. He laments the sheer amount of waste generated during the post-holiday season.
Recovering these trees is impossible once they are cut down. Therefore, his mission revolves around waste reduction at Christmas. By renting a tree, customers can witness its growth from one year to the next, as a three-foot tree from his company this year may become a four-foot tree the next.
This innovative idea aligns with Londoners’ increasing concerns about waste and their desire to embrace sustainable practices. Joe Potter, a 36-year-old policy manager, expressed the importance of sustainability for his family. The thought of continuously discarding trees troubled him, pushing him to opt for a real Christmas tree which he can rent and then return.
This new trend not only reduces waste but also allows residents to enjoy the charm and authenticity of a real tree while contributing to a sustainable future, it’s truly a win-win situation for everyone.