Taking an eco stance in a crowded Christmas marketplace

Guest Blog

Written by Stephen Evans, Managing Director of Christmas Tree World

Christmas Tree World has been working with the BNF since 2019. In that time, the BNF have planted more than 17,000 seedlings thanks to the e-tailer’s donation strategy that sees ‘A Tree Planted For Every Order’. To read more on how Christmas Tree World have been working with the BNF, take a look at their dedicated charity page.

When you think it through, it’s not wacko to want to run your business in an environmentally friendly way; it’s just common sense.

I’m of an age where I can remember the way people were affected by the Great Depression and the war years. The tropes ‘make do and mend’ and ‘economy and efficiency’ were widespread, and essential. Essential because people were brought up to save money as standard. And in doing so, they saved scarce resources with the added benefit of saving the environment.

Many of the ways people lived back then can be revisited today.

My grandmother, for instance, didn’t use carrier bags when she went shopping. She didn’t use paper bags, she didn’t use reusable bags – she used a wicker basket. That basket saw 60 years of service and it was made out of sustainable materials.

So now I look on with horror at the levels of waste in modern life. Products with ‘built-in obsolescence’; products so poorly made they are guaranteed to be useless within a short period of time. And then there are media-driven changes, which make perfectly good things ‘out of fashion’.

Stephen Evans, Managing Director of Christmas Tree World visited Sebangau National Park peat-swamp forest and donated to BNF in 2019

There is simply no need to be so wasteful.

For me as a business owner, I see how wastage occurs in-house, too. Thirty-seven years of being in business has taught me that unless you are the one paying the bills, energy wastage doesn’t register with most people, no matter how much you tell them about it. Energy can be a big part of a business’s cost and the way it is managed can often be the difference between a successful business and a failed one.

There used to be little you could do about a business’s energy costs, once all the obvious savings had been made, such as insulation and training staff to turn off lights. Then a number of technology changes came along, which we took advantage of as a matter of necessity.

We were one of the first UK companies to change our lighting to LED.

Similarly, we have invested in a 412KWH solar installation on our roof, big enough to power not only our company but also many local houses as well. This is great for direct energy use in the offices and garden centre, but it also gives us the unique opportunity to power electric delivery vehicles, all powered for free (both in terms of money and carbon emissions). Who would have thought such a thing was even possible or, more importantly, economically viable just a few years ago?!

All of these eco additions feed through to the customer in price savings.

You could therefore say that the most competitive company is not only the most efficient but also the one minimising its use of natural resources.

“So what has all this got to do with the Borneo rainforest”? I hear you ask and “Why does Christmas Tree World think their artificial Christmas trees are environmentally friendly”?

Well, it’s quite simple really. CO2 emissions in Greater Manchester will have some warming effect on the whole planet and so they will affect the weather in Borneo, causing incredibly destructive fires which lead to evermore increases in CO2.

By us at Christmas Tree World working with the BNF to plant millions of trees in Borneo, we contribute to reducing the world’s CO2 levels. In turn, weather events, such as catastrophic flooding, gale-force winds and moorland fires at home could be prevented from worsening.

In that way, helping where we can is really a matter of self-preservation.

If everyone does their bit, the worldwide effect will be dramatic.

As to why we think our trees are environmentally friendly comes down to my first insight: it’s all about product longevity. After all, if you make a good quality product which lasts for many years and is easily repaired, then the environmental impact of its manufacture is mitigated across years of use.

If in doubt, remember my grandmother’s investment in a well-made wicker basket. Just like her, we want you to enjoy your favourite products for as long as possible – just with a little more festive sparkle…!

The Community Seedling Nursery and BNF staff received the donation cheque from Christmas Tree World in December 2020

Help us plant 1 MILLION trees by 2025.

Just £2 will plant, monitor and protect 1 tree at our Sebangau Forest reforestation site.