In December, many people go and try to find a Christmas tree. There are some that can be planted outside into the nature after their time inside for the season, but the number of people who actually do that is not that great. The Keinachtsbaum (wordplay in German for “no Christmas tree” or “not actually a tree”) tries to help those who want an authentic tree experience without chopping a healthy tree off the forest.
How the Keinachtsbaum came to be
Keinachtsbaum is a German startup founded by Nico Stisser. While he always was a fan of nature and actual trees to be used as Christmas trees, he was concerned for how they got “killed” just to spend a few days in the people’s homes only to land on the trash shortly after. The final step to stop doing that and to investigate alternatives happened when Stisser’s child would ask why a tree would have to die just for them.
Stisser was unhappy with the options of plastic alternatives and decided to tinker with an alternative on his own. The design he came up with for the Keinachtsbaum is as simple as it’s effective. A few holes drilled into a wooden pole, with a tripod as a stand, and they had to be split for easier transportation and storing the parts. The manufacturing would then be handed over to a wood-crafting company to create more Keinachtsbaum than just a few units.
How this sustainable Christmas tree alternative works
After setting the Keinachtsbaum by connecting all the parts from the set, you’ll need to add actual tree branches into the holes of the pole. In order to build a tree that looks authentic, you’d need to place the longest branches at the bottom and go shorter with every row. This way, you can achieve a look and smell, yes, that’s important to many, as if it was an actual tree there standing in your living room. The Keinachtsbaum team states that the branches will last about two weeks without water before they fall off and turn brown.
This is a sufficient time frame in many homes, as oftentimes, the tree is about to be trashed shortly after New Year’s Eve. Setting your new sustainable Christmas tree up might take starters up to two hours to get all the branches applied appealingly, but honestly, I don’t think that anyone would count the minutes when preparing the tree. This is a tradition in many families and more likely celebrated than just a mere task from the checklist.
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What makes the Keinachtsbaum sustainable?
To better understand how the Keinachtsbaum is actually sustainable, you need to look a bit deeper into the “manufacturing” of Christmas trees. Such trees are not just wildly stolen from the forest. Normally they are grown specifically to end up as Christmas trees. Now you might think that just killing off trees only to get the branches isn’t really helping anyone, but you have to look closer at what’s happening.
Depending on where you look, many, in some cases the majority of grown trees, are unfit to be sold as Christmas trees because they are not appealing to customers and would end up being shredded. Such “unfit” trees can now at least be harvested for branches before they turned into fertilizer. This way, the companies that grow and sell trees can actually increase their revenue by reducing the number of trees that cannot be monetized.
This is, however, just one aspect on how one could get ahold of branches. It would be even more sustainable to get the branches from actual forest trees. Trees that are growing normally can be harvested for branches to equip your Keinachtsbaum for about 30 years without any sort of disadvantage for them. Many would be cut back on the bottom either way, but now the harvested branches could actually be used for something. Some foresters might not even charge you for that.
Pricing and availability
it might be too late for this year, but it’s never too late to think about a more sustainable future. The Keinachtsbaum is currently sold for 139 EUR in Germany, which converts to roughly 170 USD, but if this becomes a trend, maybe they will be selling this product to other regions as well in the future.
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The pricing is certainly not competitive in comparison to a single traditional Christmas tree. Still, getting the Keihnachtsbaum, you might never need to buy (and kill) another living tree again in your lifetime. Also, the stand is included, so this is also one thing you won’t need to think about again. If you are looking for a sustainable solution without missing that real smell of a tree, this might be an interesting option for you.
YouTube: KEINACHTSBAUM (Detailed Instructions in German)