Sunday, December 27, 2015

Climate Sunday: Recycle your Xmas Trees!



I celebrate a secular Christmas, but I decorate minimally and never have a Christmas tree--my house is just too small and since we don't have kids it's just not that big a deal. My husband sometimes brings home a rosemary bush. That's plenty festive for us--and we use the rosemary in lots of great food! But for those of you who do use cut evergreens for your holiday decorations--please recycle! The sight of dry fire hazards on the sidewalk waiting for a trip to the landfill in mid-January is one depressing sight every year that ends the holiday season on a downbeat.

So one thing I'd recommend is checking with your local municipality to see if they have a tree recycling program. We have one here in Philadelphia, and if you're in a pretty good-sized town, your community should also have one (and if your community doesn't--see what you can do about getting one started).

But that's not all that can be done with old trees. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a use for your old trees, at least, in GA--they use them for fish-habitats in a local lake. You may want to check if they have such a program in your neck of the woods.

You know who loves disposing of evergreen trees? Goats. They find them delicious and it's a pretty good dietary change for them. But they aren't the only critters that enjoy trees. As above, zoos also sometimes take trees as recreational enhancements (big old toys) for their big cats and other animals.

But that's not all! Here's a list of some other cool ideas to get more use out of your tree.

Of course, if you use an artificial tree, you will get years of use out of it. But if you are looking to downsize or are moving and want to unload your artificial tree, be sure to see if a local charity can take it as a donation so it can continue to give holiday cheer.

2 comments:

Formerly Amherst said...

Excellent advice about Christmas trees, Vixen.

We keep filling our landfills with huge amounts of junk swelling the size. At our house we have taken to gifting people with cards for Starbucks and restaurants to cut down on the clutter and give people gifts they enjoy for a number of months.

Our consumerism culture keeps swelling the number of gadgets that have to be replaced when new models with new apps are promoted by their media saturation campaigns. One way to avoid cluttering up the planet is to give gifts that don't require more storage space for physical objects. Materialism always drags spontaneously in the direction of down.

Vixen Strangely said...

Greetings--I hope your holiday went well.

Agreed. The season is known for people overdoing it--eating too much, drinking too much, spending too much. But the actual waste--leftovers that never get eaten, and the ratio of trash to gifts (I've reckoned the empty boxes, tissue paper and wrap are something like 2:1 the volume of the "keepers")--is something people can get a better lock on. We can give more of ourselves, and less "stuff".