After the presents are opened and the carols are sung, one part of Christmas tends to hang around for a few extra days, and that is the Christmas tree. Those live trees do not last forever, though, and at some point you have to send them to the great Christmas tree farm in the sky. Knowing how to throw away your Christmas tree responsibly is a great way to pay your final respects to this essential piece of holiday decoration, while also giving yourself some peace of mind. The tree gave your family some holiday joy for a few weeks, so giving it a respectful end is only fair.
Recycling, mulching, or donating it to local nature organizations are just a few ways to responsibly dispose of your Christmas tree. Granted, you can always just chuck the thing in a nearby dumpster or throw it out with the trash, but that is not the only, or most environmentally friendly, solution. Plus, if you send the Christmas tree out with the garbage, its potentially helpful biomass is only going to waste, according to The Guardian. The tree is organic waste, and it is totally safe to go back to the earth. Finding local tree recycling opportunities can be super easy, and many such organizations will even pick up the tree for you. You can help out the environment a little bit without doing much extra work at all.
To prep your tree for recycling, simply make sure it is stripped of all ornaments, lights, tinsel, and other decorations. The tree itself is all you want to work with here. Along these lines, please note that "flocked" trees, which are painted white, are not easily recycled and may need to be trashed, according to Earth911. In this case, review your local rules for trash disposal, and consider chopping the tree into smaller parts to make your sanitation worker's job easier.
If your tree is all-natural, though, the options for beneficial disposal are almost endless. For starters, check out local tree recycling, AKA treecycling, programs that offer curbside pickup for the tree. This makes disposing of your old tree about as easy as possible. In many cities, discarded Christmas trees are turned into mulch, which is then given away for free in the spring, according to Budget Dumpster. Your tree from December could help flowers grow in April. It is a lovely cycle, right?
Next, consider dropping it off at a designated Christmas tree recycling center. You can use Earth911's search tool to find Christmas tree recycling programs near you, and a quick search proves that tons of organizations are available. Otherwise, check with your local recycling center, gardening organization, or even fire department for potential places to recycle your tree. (Note: Some fire departments collect old Christmas trees and use them to light a giant bonfire for the community.) Also, certain Home Depot locations offer free Christmas tree recycling. Chances are, you will find a place nearby for tree recycling with no problem.
Plus, your local community might have some unique ways to reuse the trees based on its own environmental needs. For example, old Christmas trees can be used as barriers to prevent soil erosion, hiking trail path material, and even fish feeders when sunk into ponds, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. Your tree could take on a whole new aquatic life as a fish refuge.
Lastly, people who have access to open land can repurpose an old Christmas tree into a number of ways. Turning it into a garden trellis during the springtime is one option, and you can also stick the entire Christmas tree outside to serve as a winter home for the birds, according to Organic Life. As long as it's being put to good use, your Christmas tree can be disposed of in any number of ways.
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