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Now that Christmas is over and weâ€™re feeling the let down of gifts given, visitors come and gone and turkeys carved, itâ€™s time to start thinking about what to do with that beautifully smelling tree in your living room. While most of us will be sending the tree to a recycling center to be mulched, here are some more fun, do-it-yourself options for disposing of the tree.
Recycle It Yourself. Cut the branches and trunk into smaller portions and put them in a wood chipper (or borrow a neighbors). Use the mulch for increasing the health of your soil in flower beds, around shrubbery or in your garden. Additionally, you can use the wood for kindling in your outdoor fire pit. Average sized trees can provide up to 13 pounds of firewood. Remember, do not burn evergreens inside because they are highly flammable and full of sap.
Make a Bird Sanctuary. Attract the local wildlife by building a Christmas tree-sized bird feeder. Decorate it with homemade popcorn garland, orange slices and pinecones or stale bread smothered in peanut butter and birdseed. Secure the tree to a support with wire or twine to keep it from blowing over and use stakes in the ground for extra stability. The birds will come for the food and stay for the refuge in the branches.
Perfume Your Home. Allow the needles to dry out and brush them off the branches. Separate them into small, decorative bowls or cups and mix them with cinnamon sticks, cloves and dried flowers or fruit. The result will be a creative, eco-friendly and aromatic potpourri that will leave your home smelling of the holidays even after the tree is gone.
Decorations, guests, presents, eggnog and December 25th have all come and gone and now we are just left with the holiday memories, leftovers and general debris. We know to save our bows and wrapping paper for next year, to keep boxes and packaging for future presents and to reuse what we can for other creative projects. If you have an artificial tree, youâ€™re beginning to think of taking off the tinsel and ornaments and packing it safely away for next year. But if you bought a tree from the lot, you may be a little lost as to what to do with it.
Placing your tree on the side of the road and crossing your fingers is not the best way to go. This year earth 911 has put together the most comprehensive list to date of local recycling centers, reaching out to every city in America with a population of over 30,000. Remember, that just because someone hauls your Christmas tree away, does NOT mean it has been properly recycled; it may still end up in a landfill.
Many cities have curb-side pick-up options, but most have size and condition requirements (all trees must be void of lights, ornaments, tinsel, etc). In other cases, local volunteer organizations, such as the boy scouts, will pick up trees for a small donation. If all else fails, you can cut up the tree yourself and place It in your organic waste trash bin.
Other ideas on how to keep your tree out of a landfill include placing it in your backyard as a bird feeder/refuge, using small branches in your fish tank or aquarium as fish habitats and feeding areas or chipping it yourself and turning it into mulch for your garden.