Christmas trees go environmental

Businesses on both sides of the Atlantic have sprouted up offering Christmas tree rentals. In America, the Living Christmas Company offers to deliver trees of a range of sizes costing from $50 (£31) to $185 (£115) and pick them up at a later date.

It even tags trees, for an additional charge, so you can have the same one every year.

"What we are trying to do is resurrect the symbolism of Christmas," founder Scott Martin told the BBC. "People have gone away from it because of the perception that a cut tree is deforestation – so there are environmental reasons for not getting a cut tree.

"So people start switching to an artificial tree, but how Christmassy is that? [A tree] is meant to symbolise new hope, new faith, new life. Does a plastic tree really say that to you?"

Not to be outdone, Brits have got in on the act. A little more expensive, though just as environmentally friendly, is Christmas Tree Man Martin Cake, a qualified tree surgeon with 20 years’ experience.

So popular was his service this year that he sold out of trees by halfway through December this year. With people ever more sensitive to ecological issues, he’d better stock up for 2010.

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