Nothing says Christmas like the piney fragrance of a beautifully decorated fir, pine or spruce.
But not to be a total Grinch, these noble evergreens don’t have it so easy when the holidays come around. Christmas trees, as writer Meghan Walsh points out on OZY, are basically bred to be cut down and sent to the curb after a few weeks. And for any Christmas lover/eco-conscious person alike, that just seems like a big waste.
Alongside the mountains of dead trees that pile up each year, Christmas trees (real or fake) cost a pretty penny. The website pointed out that just last year, Americans purchased 33 million real trees to a cost of $1.16 billion, and 14.7 million plastic ones at $1.19 billion.
These winter icons deserve much more respect, and that’s why in 2008, Scott “Scotty Claus” Martin decided to start The Living Christmas Company in Los Angeles so customers could simply rent a tree and have it delivered right to their doorstep. After Christmas is over, the trees are picked up and go straight back to the nursery.
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Fans of ABC’s “Shark Tank” might remember that two years ago, Martin’s genius idea got a $140,000 investment from billionaire Mark Cuban for a 40 percent stake in the company. Martin was also recently featured in the series’ “Success Stories” segment during its 100th episode, during which he explains how his company has since grossed half a million dollars after Cuban’s investment and is projected to reach $300,000 after the holiday season.
Additionally, according to the OZY report, the Living Christmas Company has recently expanded operations in Northern California after Dean Rafini, a Bay Area firefighter, fell in love with the idea.
Only NorCal and SoCal residents can rent trees from the company, but for those of you who’d also like to cut down on Christmas tree waste, consider buying a potted evergreen and planting in your yard after the holidays (click here for tips) instead of buying a cut tree.