Christmas is generally a time for family, food and spending money in the name of happiness. But one of the most beloved symbols of the season doesn’t have it so good. We’re talking about the Christmas tree. In the US, 33 million are cut down, tinseled up and then shoved into dumpsters before New Year’s Eve. In Europe, that number is almost 55 million. That’s why two French companies have teamed up to try to curb the annual offing of evergreens by creating the first “smart tree.”
Treezmas rents living, potted trees to people during the holiday season for $80-$150, then picks them up to reuse next year. They’ve even gone so far as to give the trees names and backstories, like Camille the fir tree, a big-hearted painter and sculptor who theoretically loves visiting museums. If that sounds weird to you, you’re right. It is. But Treezmas started personifying its trees to try to make renters more invested in their care. Shockingly, they were finding that 70 percent of the rented trees died over the holidays from neglect.
This year, they're adding a technical element to help save those trees. They are working with Parrot—a company best known for making surveillance drones—on a device called Flower Power, a Bluetooth sensor linked to an app that will send alerts if a tree needs light, water or a temperature adjustment. Now if there was just an app to go fish the ornaments out of the attic.