Recycling a Christmas Tree After Christmas

How should you go about recycling a Christmas tree?

With the new year in full swing and Christmas (sadly) behind us, it’s time to start thinking about what to do with the tree that’s started to wilt in your living room. Now, in the past you’ve probably just thrown your tree in the trash with the stale popcorn wreaths and tinsel. But consider the alternative. While recycling a Christmas tree may seem daunting, here are just a few ideas on what to do with your tree now that Santa has gone back to the North Pole.

See if any of your local furry friends need a snack.

Give a local farm or petting zoo a call and ask about donating your tree. Animals like goats love to snack on your left-over holiday cheer. Besides being just a fun treat for the animals, your left-over Christmas tree is a great source of vitamins and nutrients.

Use it as a fire starter.

Your old Christmas tree is a great source of kindling if you have an outdoor fire pit. Or, if your pit is large enough, throw the whole thing on the fire and listen to the needles pop. The liquid in the needles rapidly heats up causing them to expand with an audible pop. It’s a great way to entertain the kids, especially if you bring some marshmallows to roast over the fire.

Keep in mind it’s very important to only use your Christmas tree for outside fire pits. Burning them in an indoor fireplace or wood stove can cause the build up of a chemical called creosote, which can result in a chimney fire. Before burning outside it’s always a good idea to check with your local forest and fire agencies to make sure there aren’t any burn bans in effect in your area.

Start a compost bin.

Pine needles and branches take a long time to decompose, which makes them great as a base for a compost pile. If your compost pile is outdoors a base layer of Christmas tree branches and needles can add a great layer of insulation to help keep it warm in the colder months.

Recycle it!

Most areas have curbside pickup for your Christmas tree. All you have to do is kick it to the curb and they’ll come take it away. If you don’t have curbside pickup, there are drop off locations you can bring your tree to. Not only will they take it off your hands, but they’ll make it into mulch to reuse.

Get a little crafty.

If you’re looking for a creative way to recycle a Christmas tree, the internet is a wealth of ideas. Cut the trunk of your tree into slices with a circular saw and the possibilities are endless. Make some rustic coasters, paint a wooden snowman, you name it and you can make it.

Whether you decide to feed your local goats, make some fun decorations, or start a composting pile, you’re sure to put your Christmas tree to good use. When you’re recycling a Christmas tree, the cheer doesn’t need to end with the holiday season!

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