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Guest Post: Enjoy Christmas Season and Then Recycle the Tree

December 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Green Living, Guest Posts, Top Picks

recycled xmas treeWhile Christmas is right around the corner, it doesn’t hurt to be thinking about what you plan to do with that real holiday tree once the festivities are over.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), around 33 million real Christmas trees are purchased yearly throughout North America. Among those, some 93 percent are recycled via more than 4,000 different recycling programs.

For many people who sport real trees in their homes, the decision after the gifts have been opened and the family and friends depart, is to either take the tree for recycling or toss it away.

As it turns out, unfortunately, countless real trees find themselves in landfills nationwide following the holiday, an even more disappointing fact given that the trees are eco-friendly. Among the ways to reuse the trees are turning them into mulch for the backyard or using them as a safe haven for birds and other wildlife during the long winter.

The benefits in reusing a real Christmas tree following the holidays include:

 

  • Mulch for the yard;
  • Winter haven for birds and other wildlife;
  • Usage on areas of beaches, lakes and rivers where sand and soil erosion are issues;
  • Usage underwater in a lake or pond where it makes for a great setting for fish and other creatures;
  • The tree can be chopped into smaller pieces, then reused as firewood the following year once the wood has had a chance to season itself in the drier weather.

In the event you decide to donate your real tree to a recycling center, be sure to remove all ornaments, garments, hooks, stands etc. Typically, many towns and cities will provide free curbside removal of trees for about two weeks following the holiday.

If you choose to cut it up at home, use the remains as mulch to help reduce weeds and assist in the spring when you plant flowers.

For those individuals who have not yet purchased their real tree, there is still time, although the clock is ticking.

There are a variety of Christmas trees one can get, including Scotch pine, Douglas fir, Fraser fir and Virginia pine to name a few.

When looking for an eco-friendly tree in the U.S., try and find a USDA-certified organically grown product that will not have been touched by pesticides or other dangerous chemicals during its cultivation.

Among the advantages to real trees is that they absorb Co2 while growing, releasing oxygen out into the atmosphere. Natural trees are renewable, while artificial trees have non-biodegradable plastics and the possibility of metal toxins in them.

Enjoy the Christmas season once again, then turn around and give the Earth a present that it can use indefinitely.

Photo credit: blog.al.com

Dave Thomas, who covers among other items background checks and small business loans writes extensively for Business.com, an online resource destination for businesses of all sizes to research, find, and compare the products and services they need to run their businesses.

 

 

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