The key to making sure your Christmas tree is as harmless as possible—and we assume you wouldn’t be reading this if you’d decided to go the greenest route and skip the tree altogether—is to plan ahead. Make sure you know what you’re going to do with the thing when the festivities are over—it makes a big difference to how and what you buy. Here are some of the post-holiday uses that we’ve seen for your tree:
- Recycle it into compost. Some cities will collect your tree and compost it, or you can do it yourself. A tree can be turned into mulch, too, so it pays to think about what your landscaping needs are going to be when the snow melts.
- Sink it in a pond. A tree can offer refuge to fish if you live on a private lake or have a pond. We’d only recommend this if you’re sure the tree hasn’t been treated with chemicals that could harm the aquatic ecosystem.
- Plant it in the backyard. If you’ve got the space for it, getting a tree with roots and replanting it is obviously the most eco-friendly solution. But make sure you buy a species that will work with the soil type and climate at your house. Get advice on how to care for the plant while its indoors and how to plant it after—if the tree farmer can’t help you, try a greenhouse or nursery. The tree should only be indoors for a week, so don’t plan on the up-at-Thanksgiving, down-at-Valentine’s-Day route.
If you’re stuck with no backyard, no pond, and the city doesn’t recycle, think again about a treeless Christmas. Nobody’s forcing you to put up a tree—except a spouse and children, perhaps. Just assure them that there will still be gifts even if there isn’t a tree to put them under. That’s what they’re really after. ::Care2 ::NOW Magazine [by KK]
Have a better idea or what to do with a Christmas tree? Post a comment to let us know.