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Plymouth College of Art goes sustainable with their Christmas trees

Plymouth College of Art has taken a sustainable approach to Christmas this year by renting three live Christmas trees from Hillah Farm in Buckfastleigh

Plymouth College of Art has taken a new sustainable approach to decorating the college Christmas by renting living Christmas trees from Hillah Farm in Buckfastleigh, set up by mother, daughter and granddaughter partnership, Sarah Hyne, Emily Smith and Sunnie.

Hillah Farm allows people to rent a Christmas tree during the festive period, which is returned to grow for the year, and then re-rented the following Christmas season. This means customers can watch their Christmas tree grow year on year.

Renting three live trees, Plymouth College of Art will proudly display them in the reception and within the Students’ Union at Tavistock Place, with the final tree taking residence at the Pre-Degree campus at Palace Court.

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The Christmas tree in place in reception at Tavistock Place

With the Hillah Farm business growing rapidly, many of their trees are still quite young, starting at two to four feet in height, with spruce trees absorbing 21 kgs of carbon dioxide a year, while also producing 118kgs of oxygen.

Nicky Turvey, Sustainability and Facilities Officer at Plymouth College of Art said, “We are so pleased to be supporting a brilliant business initiative in working with Hillah Farm in Buckfastleigh. Emily started her business three years ago to prevent homes and businesses creating wasted trees at the end of the Christmas period, discarding their trees in the bin or at local recycling centres. Emily rents three thousand trees out to homes and businesses like us at Plymouth College of Art, and in January we will return the tree to Hillah Farm for her to tend, feed and grow the trees for another year ready for the next Christmas season.”

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The trees at Hillah Farm

“We are over the moon to find this option for our Christmas Trees as we wish to minimise our environmental impact whilst still providing the joy and festivity that a Christmas Tree does so well. We collected our trees in our electric van, charged by electricity generated from our solar panels, and so we are really pleased to be contributing to a circular economy without depleting the natural environment this year, or generating any green waste.”

“The beauty of these trees is that they are grown in pots with their roots fully intact, so they can continue to live and grow year on year. We have also worked with the Fab Lab to create little plaques for these trees so that we will be able to identify the same trees for next Christmas and the year after.”

If you’d like to find out more information about Hillah Farm’s Christmas Tree rentals, you can find them on Facebook, Instagram or alternatively email hillahfarm@gmail.com