June 25, a.k.a. Half Christmas Day, probably got you thinking about your real Christmas plans for this year. It’s fun looking forward to decorating the tree and sipping hot chocolate by the fire. But for those trying to live a green lifestyle, it’s hard to justify buying or chopping down a tree that’ll be used for maybe a couple weeks. But fear not – there are plenty of ways to reuse your Christmas tree after the festivities are over.
1. Mulch your Garden
If you plant a garden every year, you know what a difference mulch makes in helping crops grow. Luckily, you can make mulch from your old Christmas tree. Take the tree to someone who can turn it into mulch or just use the pine needles as mulch. Then, spread the mulch in with your landscaping or in your garden soil. It helps soil retain moisture and gives earthworms nutrients.
2. Give your Cats a Scratching Post
Kill two birds with one stone by recycling your Christmas tree and deterring your cat from scratching the furniture. Remove the branches and mount the trunk in a stand in the yard or house and let the cats have at it. Or, you could leave a few branches and hang cat toys on them for added scratching and playtime.
3. Make a Bird Feeder
This one is simple because it doesn’t involve cutting the tree at all. Either dig a hole in the yard or leave the tree in its stand and set it in the yard for the birds to nest in. Then, place bird feeders or seed-covered pine cones in the branches for the birds to have more food to munch on during winter.
4. Create a Fish Habitat
Fallen trees act as natural homes for pond, river or lake fish. If you own or live near a body of water, give your old tree a new purpose by placing it in the water for fish to use as shelter. But before doing so, make sure your tree is free of chemicals, and that you’re allowed to put your tree in a public body of water.
5. Use the Tree for Arts and Crafts
Get your creative juices flowing by making garden decorations out of the trunk and branches. Saw the trunk into 2-inch thick pieces and use them as a border for your garden. Or, saw into thinner pieces, drill a hole near the edge, and paint or decorate them as ornaments to use for next year’s tree. A few more decorating ideas include using thin trunk pieces as coasters, using the branches as support for climbing plants and keeping pine needles in a bag for a fresh scent in your home.
Buy an Artificial Tree Instead
To solve the problem altogether, invest in an authentic-looking artificial Christmas tree instead of chopping down a new one every year. By doing so, you won’t have to worry about harming the environment or having to figure out what to do with a dead tree. Simply box it up and reuse it next year.
But if you do get an actual Christmas tree, you don’t have to feel guilty cutting down a new tree every year for Christmas. Instead of throwing it away when you’re done, use your imagination and recycle the tree for decorations or necessities around the house. And maybe by keeping remnants of the Christmas tree around the house, a little extra Christmas cheer will be left behind as well.