Have an Eco-Friendly Christmas with a Potted Christmas Tree

christmas tree farm

We all have Christmas traditions, and while you may have changed some of them over the years — swapping out Mom’s traditional turkey for a roast capon or trying out an all-new Christmas cookie recipe — there are likely some that you just can’t get rid of. Maybe you’ve started using recycled paper for wrapping for a more eco-friendly Christmas, or maybe you’re making your own homemade decorations, but what about the Christmas tree: have you reconciled a desire for tradition with the classic décor’s pressure on the environment?

It’s estimated that between 25 and 30 million Christmas trees are sold in the US every year, and come December 26th, they’re tossed. This creates quite a few problems for the environment!

While there are several more eco-friendly Christmas tree solutions, the fact of the matter is that many American families want to adhere to tradition — which is why those looking for sustainable Christmas decoration options can be glad that there is such a thing as a potted Christmas tree.

This option is becoming more and more popular as greener solutions for the Christmas tree conundrum become more popular. Adopt a Christmas Tree is one such company, bringing potted Christmas trees to the San Diego area since 2005. The site shows families how “elves” grow and care for the trees all year long to be ready in time for Christmas; families can order their trees online for delivery on the Friday, Saturday or Sunday of their choice from November 28th to December 21st (accompanied by a special elfin song-and-dance show!). After Christmas, you can either keep your tree or arrange for a free pickup so that the tree can be replanted somewhere else.

Living Christmas is a similar company serving both Northern and Southern California — with trees “direct from the North Pole!” The small team selects and delivers trees according to your requested delivery date and picks them back up again at the end of the season, but if you’d rather choose your own, you can check Facebook for dates and times when tree deliveries will be available at local farms. As the trees are technically rented from the Department of Agriculture, you cannot keep your tree, but you can request to adopt your tree and have the same one the following year! And for even more eco-friendly Christmas decorations, try the company’s eco-friendly Christmas store.

For the moment, these sorts of options are not available throughout the United States. Hopefully that will change by next year, but if you’re still looking for an eco-friendly Christmas tree option and aren’t in the delivery zones of these companies, why not try planting your own Christmas tree?

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Image: United States Department of Agriculture

Emily Monaco is a food and culture writer based in Paris. Her work has been featured in the Wall... More about Emily Monaco