One of our favorite parts of Christmas is the tree. From picking it out, to bringing it home, to decorating it with ornaments that have been cherished and passed down from generation to generation, the Christmas tree never fails to bring a smile to our faces. No matter how much we love our tree, however, there comes a time to bid it goodbye. This usually happens around January 1st, when the boughs have become brittle and pine needles are scattered all over the living room floor.
Instead of dragging your beloved tree to the curb and sending it to the landfill, there are a number of ways to give your tree a second life by recycling it. Below are some of our favorite methods. Choose one, try it out, and give the earth a gift this holiday season!
1. Make your own mulch.
If you have access to a wood chipper, you can shred your tree into small pieces and scatter them throughout your garden and under your shrubs. (Just make sure to remove your ornaments first!) If you don’t have a wood chipper, you can simply cut off the boughs and place them at the base of plants that are susceptible to wind and weather.
2. Let it swim with the fish.
If you have a pond on your property, you can sink your tree to the bottom of it, or lay it down in the shallow end. The tree will break down over time while providing a natural habitat for fish and insects, and contributing to a healthy ecosystem.
3. Create a bird habitat.
Move your tree outside, either in its stand or to an area where it can be propped up without falling over. If you can, place it near a bird feeder or hang treats from its branches, such as pinecones smeared with peanut butter and birdseed. This will give you an opportunity to bird watch from the comfort of your own home—a very soothing activity, especially during the dark and cold days of winter!
4. Make your own potpourri.
One of the best parts of having a live Christmas tree is the scent of pine that wafts through the house. You can enjoy that scent even longer if you strip the tree of its needles and use them to make aromatic potpourri. If you’re ambitious, sew small sachets out of fabric and place them throughout your house. They’ll be pretty to look at and pleasant to smell—a lovely combination.
5. Compost your tree.
Let’s face it—the holidays are exhausting, and by the time they’re over some of us don’t have the energy to transform our tree in a creative or time-consuming way. If this is the case for you, don’t worry. You can still take advantage of the easiest solution of all. Simply take your tree outside and lay it in your compost pile. While it will take a while to break down (especially if you don’t strip the needles or cut it into small pieces first) it should be gone by next Christmas, and that’s all that really matters.
We hope this post has given you some new ideas for recycling your Christmas tree. If you liked this post, make sure to follow us on Facebook for more helpful tips and tricks.