Now that Christmas is over and we’re feeling the let down of gifts given, visitors come and gone and turkeys carved, it’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.
Remember that when you’re ready to get rid of your tree, placing it on the side of the road will not guarantee that it will be recycled properly. Do your homework and find a recycling program near you or donate it to an eco-friendly cause. Make sure you tree’s good cheer doesn’t end at Christmas.