Green Living: Recycling Christmas Trees and Wreaths

lifestyleparentinghome managementgreen living

An authentic Christmas tree is the perfect seasonal decoration. After you bring the outdoors in to trim your home, it is important to take simple steps to properly recycle the beautiful boughs.

Christmas Tree

This year, we decked our halls with a 9-foot Douglas Fir. For our family, a real tree is an important part of our celebration of Christmas. We love decking the tree with our favorite ornaments, which you can read about in my Ornament Show & Tell. The first step to successfully recycling your Christmas tree is to remove all the lights and ornaments. If you have stray ornament hooks, don't toss them! You can use those to make a personalized wine key or save them to wrap ribbons in your next wreath. Since Christmas light strands can contain lead, you'll want to take those to a hardware store for proper disposal when they go out.

In my township, and many others, we have two options for recycling our Christmas trees and wreaths. We are going to have the Boy Scouts pick up our tree at home. They have already delivered an envelope to our door to let us know about the service. We can schedule online and they will collect our tree for a minimal ($8) donation. If you haven't received a notice about this, I would encourage you to search the internet to find out if a local troop participates, since this is certainly the easiest way to make sure your tree does not end up in a landfill. Another option is to take your tree to a yard-waste collection facility. These locations often mulch the trees and then offer free u-haul-it compost in the spring.

The general consensus within the green community is that live trees are a more eco friendly option than their faux counterparts. Children will enjoy the activity of selecting a tree and even cutting it down. This memorable tradition is one that I am looking forward to sharing with our daughters for years to come. In fact, we love our pine trees so much that we are planning to purchase a living tree next year to replant in the yard after the new year. It's the perfect way to enjoy the memory of a delightful Holiday year round.

Do you have a real tree in your house? What do you do with it after Christmas?

Eco Incognito Jeannette Bezinque is a stay-at-home Mom to two girls and she writes a blog about eco-friendly parenting topics called Eco Incognito. Visit for inspiration and resolutions to go green in the New Year. You will learn the most cost effective and efficient ways to save money in the house while raising healthy, happy children.

Featured image courtesy of Flickr.

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