Carrie McBride
Jan 2, 2008

What's that they say about Christmas? Next to a circus, nothing packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit. The same can probably be said about the tree your family carefully selected and lovingly decorated - it's quicly kicked to the curb once the holidays have passed. In America, that's about 30 million cut trees headed for the landfill and we were shocked to read that it takes 30 years for them to decompose! 30 years! So, feel better about cutting down a tree every year by at least recycling it when you're done.

First, check and see if your city or town has a tree recycling program. In New York City, for example, the Dept. of Sanitation hosts an annual Mulchfest for residents to drop off their trees to be turned into wood chips for gardening and landscaping.

We pulled out a page from O Magazine last month in a special ad section called Green for the Holidays. Here's their advice:

If your municipality doesn't have an official mulching program, check around - golf courses, cemeteries or local conservation groups may run their own treecycling programs.

Other ideas include:

  • Splitting the wood for winter kindling in your fireplace
  • Pruning the branches and placing the boughs over perennials in your garden as insulation against frost damage
  • Laying the tree out (ideally adorned with suet bags, seed cakes or berries) where it can offer winter shelter for birds and small animals

(image via: Friends of Brook Park)

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