The Christmas season is coming to an end, the gifts have been opened and now it is time to take the decorations down. However, instead of throwing your Christmas tree away this year, you should choose to recycle it.
That’s right, you can recycle a Christmas tree and there are different methods depending on where you live. In many areas, your local disposal company will handle it, but in some areas, there are Christmas tree recycling centers. Christmas tree recycling is important for multiple reasons and it is easy to do.
Know Your Tree
Before you look at disposal options, you need to know what type of tree you have. Don’t worry, it’s not complicated, there are really only three options, which include the traditional all natural Christmas tree, flocked trees (the trees that look like they have snow on them), and artificial trees.
Why is this important? A flocked tree cannot be recycled and some disposal services will not even accept it. It is highly dependent on where you live, but there are no real recycling options for flocked trees. Don’t fret though, you can recycle traditional and artificial trees in other ways.
Dried Christmas Trees Are A Fire Hazard
While you may take care of your Christmas tree while it is in your house, when you take it out to the curb, it can dry very fast and become very dangerous. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a dried out Christmas tree will burn faster than newspaper.
While on the curb next to other flammable garbage or plants, Christmas trees pose a serious threat to the surrounding area. To avoid this, only place the Christmas tree outside the night before it is picked up by your local disposal company.
Christmas Trees Can Be Used As Mulch
One of the best ways Christmas trees can be put to use, other than during the Christmas season, is turning them into mulch. The mulch can be used to breath new life into plants in your local area and some disposal companies will actually distribute the mulch for residential garden use.
This makes it easier for new trees and plants to grow in crowded city spaces and makes your city look better while helping the environment. However, if your local disposal center does not offer this option, you are not out of luck.
An alternative is to bring your Christmas tree to a compost facility. The pine needles on the tree are a great base for compost piles. This is a better option than sending your Christmas tree to a landfill.
Animals Love Christmas Trees
Another great option is to deliver your Christmas tree to a local farm or zoo. Christmas tree can be used both as food as well as animal habitats. Goats, in particular, love to eat pine trees and donating them to your local farm is a welcomed treat. Zoos are home to a variety of animals who often eat pine trees as part of their diets. They also have been known to use these trees as habitats or even as playthings.
Just make sure that you properly remove all holiday decorations before you donate them for animal consumption or use.
What If I Have An Artificial Tree
Artificial Christmas trees are quite popular because of their convenience and disposing of them should be too. Normally, these trees can last 10 years depending on the brand, but sometimes you may need to dispose of them early.
One of the best ways to get rid of an old artificial tree is to donate it to local thrift stores. As long as the tree is in an acceptable condition, another family can use it next year. Another alternative is to repurpose your tree into smaller decorations. The tree branches can be bent into different festive shapes or shaped into a wearable wreath.
If this is not an option, bring the tree to your local recycling center for proper disposal.
Every Little Bit Helps
It is no secret that the world is suffering from the effects of climate change that are caused by the release of greenhouse gasses into the air. Just in the United States between 25-30 million real trees are sold each year. Every tree that is cut down is replaced by three saplings, which makes the business surprisingly environmentally friendly.
Having more trees grow will allow for more carbon dioxide to be absorbed from the air, which helps fight against global warming. With carbon emissions on the rise, we need all the help we can get. Properly disposing of the trees we do use will also help the planet.