Abandoned Christmas trees on the side of the road or stuffed in bins is a sorry sight come January - but times are changing.

The Christmas tree has become a mass product and as essential to the festive period as Christmas cookies or Christmas songs. Where else would all the presents find a home? No wonder that more than 1 million trees end up in Swiss living rooms each year - most of them chopped down and imported from abroad. That certainly doesn’t feel environmentally friendly.

All the better that more and more of us are opting for the more climate-friendly alternative: rentable Christmas trees in pots. Once the festivities are over, these are replanted and further cared for until the next year. Depending on the provider, the same "family tree" can even be rented over and over. The benefits at a glance:

- You produce less waste.
- You have less effort, and in most cases, you can arrange delivery and pick up of your tree.
- You support local businesses and know exactly where your tree comes from.
- You cause less CO2 because the transport distances are shorter.
- Back on the farm, the trees provide a habitat for wildlife and continue to absorb CO2.

Still prefer buying a Christmas tree?

It's best to choose a regional tree that has been grown organically. We recommend looking out for the label "IG Suisse Christbaum" because of the clearly defined environmental guidelines producers must abide by.

What is the deal with plastic trees?

Some people try to avoid the problem by buying an artificial Christmas tree. However, artificial trees also have an environmental cost. According to an American study, a plastic tree must be reused for at least five years before its impact on the environment is less than that of a real tree. Above all, the processed steel material and PVC have a negative impact on the environment. The same holds true for the long transport route - mostly from China.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly: Aside from the big debate about what the most sustainable Christmas tree option is, our consumption habits related to gifts, food or travel during the Christmas period has a much bigger impact on the environment than our choice of tree.

List of rental providers

Happy Tree: German-speaking Switzerland
: German-speaking Switzerland
: German-speaking Switzerland
Schutz Filisur
: Switzerland-wide
: Switzerland-wide

October 22, 2022 — Jenny Albrecht