The Rnters start-up today launched the second edition of #PinheiroBombeiro, the initiative that allows users to rent real pine trees at Christmas and at the same time help Portuguese firefighters. This year, the initiative is being extended to the whole of Portugal, with collection points in Braga, Porto, Aveiro, Coimbra, Leiria, Lisbon and Faro. In addition, anyone who wants to have a real Christmas tree can also choose to have their #PinoBombeiro delivered to their home.
To have a #PinheiroBombeiro, users simply need to visit the official site of the initiative and rent it for 17.5 euros or 25 euros, depending on the amount they wish to donate to the cause. Apart from the charitable nature of the donations, there is also a sustainable and environmental aspect, since the pines returned after the festive season are reused and turned into biomass, a renewable resource of energy generation.
Following the success of the 2017 edition – which occurred only in Lisbon, in the Beato Creative Hub – this year the initiative is adding a second return point in the capital: at Vodafone Power Lab in Entrecampos, Vodafone Portugal’s start-ups incubator, which has supported Rnters since its formation.
As well as pine trees, which have to be cut to thin woodland, it will also be possible this year to rent Christmas decorations. These are a range of festive shapes, such as pines, reindeer, stars, balls, hearts and snowflakes, produced in sustainable wood or cork. These decorations can be hung on the tree as they are or coloured and personalised in people’s homes.
Last year, nearly 1500 pine trees were rented, raising over 17,000 euros. This money was used to equip all firefighters in Leiria district with fire masks.
The initiative, which also contributes to the thinning of woodland to prevent fires, and which reuses natural resources and builds national solidarity, is organised by Rnters, a start-up which has developed an online platform to rent and monetise any article.
Created by three friends – Guilherme Guerra, responsible for strategy and customer relationships; Francisco Bento, responsible for product and data analysis; and João Loff, a software engineer – Rnters is part of Vodafone Power Lab and was one of the finalist start-ups in last year’s Vodafone and Ericsson Big Smart Cities entrepreneurship competition.