Each year the Christmas rush comes and goes, and the public is left, having welcomed in the New Year, with a multitude of Christmas trees waiting to be disposed of. Finding fun and moreover environmentally friendly ways to tackle this problem is important, though fairly easy to accomplish.
Firstly, if your tree hasn’t been cut then it’s obviously appropriate for planting. Either move it from the pot to the garden, or call a retrieval service. There are many tree nurseries happy to take Christmas trees back for reselling the following year. Most household trees are cut, though, so most of these points are geared towards them.
Immediately, mulching represents a direct solution. Many town councils will be running a mulching programme near your area, so take the tree down and see it recycled for good use. Some will even give you the bag of mulch to return home with, a great convenience for the gardeners among us.
The trees only last about three weeks in the home before they dry out, shed and become a possible fire hazard. A unique way to take advantage of this is to create your own homemade potpourri. Remove the needles from the dried out branches, and mix them in with cloves, cinnamon and whatever other scents you wish to include. It’s easy enough to make on the stovetop, and often makes for a thoughtful gift to hand out later in the year. Once you’ve done this the rest of the tree will still be suitable for mulching, resulting in no waste whatsoever.
If there isn’t a mulching service nearby, keep a look out for other charities and groups seeking to recycle. It’s common for landowners to lower Christmas trees into lakes to attract fish, reacting well to the change in environment, and some UK authorities are using the trunks to line river banks as a preventative measure against floods.
Some charities collect the trees to make cheap toys and furniture for shelters; though there are plenty of DIY uses you can do yourself at home. Sawing the trunk into neat slices can create some unique stepping stones over gravel, or be affixed to a wall as decorations. The leftover branches can provide useful winter insulation in a dog house, and a particularly creative solution is to drill holes in cut sections of trunk to create a habitat for bees, ladybirds and other small insects.
Finally, and it’s an obvious point, if they’re such a fire hazard then simply use them for firewood. Most people are likely to buy firewood at some point in the year, whether it’s for a full fireplace or a barbeque, and there’s no point relegating a perfectly good tree to the landfill when the need is right there. Cut it up and stack the logs in a safe place and you’ll have cheap, atmospheric heating throughout the winter period.
Whatever solution you choose to go with when disposing of your tree, just make sure it’s not tying it up and leaving it in the dump or by the canal. There are more than enough ways to put a cut tree to good use, so it’s worth making that little extra effort to stay green over winter.
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