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Recycle Christmas Tree: How To Celebrate The Holidays Sustainably?

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Last updated: Dec 06, 2021

Gossby Experts

Recycle Christmas Tree: How To Celebrate The Holidays Sustainably?

Christmas Is fast-approaching and it’s likely you’ve either already bought your Christmas tree or are planning on bringing one into your home ASAP. Either way, a Christmas tree is an enjoyable Christmas tradition that most families love to participate in. 

Christmas trees are decorative, unique and lots of fun for the entire family. Your Christmas tree is the statement piece of decor in your home during the holiday period and is a source of pride for many families. 

However, when Christmas time is finished, what do you do with the Christmas tree that is left behind? Today, we will be exploring different ways to recycle Christmas tree, you know, sustainably.

Why Recycle Your Christmas Tree?

Recycling your Christmas tree this year is super important. In the US alone, between 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold each year. These trees are only used during the Christmas period and then they throw them away. 

kids decorate Christmas tree
After you've done decorating the tree for Christmas, there's more to do than just throwing it away! (Source: Paige Cody Unsplash)

This is a real waste and is absolutely terrible for our environment!

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to recycle your Christmas tree to make our planet a better place. After picking your perfect Christmas tree and decorating it to your heart's content, recycle or repurpose it.

This means that the old trees can be turned into nourishment to grow food crops or new trees, even furniture pieces for your home. In other words, you get more use out of your Christmas tree aside from just decorative causes. 

cat sitting under christmas tree
Think of all the resources that will go to waste if you just throw away the Christmas tree (Source: Kevin Turcios - Unsplash)

This method allows us to utilize and maximize the number of resources put into growing the tree, which means the farming practice is more sustainable. Recycling your Christmas tree means you are doing your part to ensure a more sustainable future for our Christmas tree industry.


Get on the festive vibe: 


How To Recycle Christmas Trees Sustainably?

Recycling your Christmas tree in a sustainable matter is the key to ensuring a better environmental future for our planet. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to turn your Christmas tree into a unique piece of home decor or use it within your home rather than throwing them away. 

Here are the best ways to tackle Christmas tree recycle:

#1 Fire Fuel

Most Christmas trees are evergreen. Evergreen trees are heavy with sap, which makes them perfect for firewood. However, it’s important to be careful with this as the sap is highly flammable.

fire roast marshmallow
Turning the Christmas trees into firewood to fuel a night of fun outdoors isn't a bad idea! (Source: Leon Contreras - Unsplash)

It may be dangerous to light up a fire indoors, which means it’s better to use your Christmas tree wood for outdoor purposes.

Another thing to remember is that you need to dry out your Christmas tree for a few months before lighting them up. Otherwise, they won’t burn very well.

#2 Table Stand

A great DIY idea to use your Christmas tree for is to create a table stand. You can trim the trunk to make perfectly good legs for a table. You can carve these legs and additional embellishments to make them really stand out.

table white diy
A saw, some paint, and a little talent for craftsmanship are all you need to turn your Christmas trees into the most amazing DIY table. (Source: Benjamin Voros - Unsplash)

Find a flat top for the table and then nail them together to create a sturdy, homemade table that looks incredible in your home.

#3 Coasters

Your Christmas tree can be repurposed into a beautiful bespoke coaster that looks incredible within your home. 

Start by cutting the trunk into one-inch wood coasters. These coasters are attractive, practical and protect your wood tables from water damage. You can then glaze them for added protection or use a wood burner to add some extra decoration to your coasters. 

coffee cup on coaster
Make coasters out of your Christmas tree and use them for years to come! (Source: Ben Kolde - Unsplash)

This makes for a great DIY Christmas project and offers a unique, sustainable way to recycle your Christmas tree. Just remember, you need to let the tree dry out completely prior to cutting it or the wood will split. Always varnish at least one side of the coaster prior to use.

#4 Fresheners

Are the needles on your Christmas tree still green? Fantastic! Strip your Christmas tree of its needs and store the needles in paper bags or sachets to use as fresheners within your home. 

pine needles
Keep the Christmas vibe with you longer by making the most amazing fresheners from the otherwise-wasted needles. (Source: Jean Lakosnyk - Unsplash)

This natural, fresh pine scent is sure to be a real winner with guests, and the fragrance can last up to a week or more.

#5 Fertilizer

Fertilizer is one of the most common ways to recycle old Christmas trees. This is a sustainable method because it uses your tree to create food and nutrients for other farming practices. 

Pine needles are full of nutrients that enhance the PH of soil. As it makes the soil more alkaline, pine needles allow your soil to breathe easier without becoming dense and compacted. This fertilizer can be used to keep your trees and garden healthy and moist during the cold, dry winter season. 

fertilizer
Turn the used Christmas trees into nourishments for other crops! (Source: Neslihan Gunaydin - Unsplash)

If you are going to use pine needles to create compost, make sure to fully douse the needs with water and mix them in well with your compost in order to improve the effectiveness. 

You can also turn your Christmas trees into nutrients by turning them into ash. Simply burn your tree and mix the ash into the soil. Wood ash contains nutrients like lime and potassium which help plants to thrive. The ash is also a natural insect repellant and will discourage bugs from calling your garden home.

#6 Repurpose The Tree

You can repurpose both the trunk and the branches of your Christmas trees in many ways. Here are four unique ways you can repurpose your Christmas tree:

Branch Candlesticks

You can repurpose the branches of your Christmas tree into bespoke candlesticks. Simply shop them, carve them into your needed style, and stick a candle on top for a beautiful branch candlestick within your home. 

christina-deravedisian-unsplash-silver-fir-needles
Turn these beautiful branches into easy DIY candlesticks for a romantic night. (Source: Christina Deravedisian - Unsplash)

You can also place the sticks in a mason jar with tea lights for another natural-looking DIY lighting decor idea. This is a great way to recycle your Christmas trees.

Growing Vegetables

The branches of your Christmas tree can be used to help grow peas and other vegetables. Simply stick the branches into the soil where the seeds are planted in order to have natural vegetable support with ease. 

Garden Edges

The thick trunk can be cut into sections to be used as a garden edger. This is a great way to edge small sections of your garden by using your Christmas tree.

tomato harvesting
The long trunk of your Christmas trees also makes great vegetable trellis! (Source: Kamala Bright - Unsplash)

Wildlife Shelter

The Christmas tree trunk can be converted into a wildlife shelter. Simply carve some holes into it and stick it into your garden to create a natural wildlife shelter the critters will love.

You can also use some parts of your Christmas tree to create wildlife feeders and bird feeders. This DIY project gives back to the critters who call your garden their home and is a lovely way to improve your backyard decor.

#7 Donate To A Charitable Organization

Recycled Christmas trees have many uses for charitable organizations that are involved with wildlife and environmental conservation.

Recycled Christmas trees can be used in rivers as fish feeders and habitats for endangered fish because they provide plenty of protection for fish to hide from predators within. 

mulch new sprout
Grind the trees into mulch or chips and keep the moisture for new trees to grow! (Source: Maddy Baker - Unsplash)

Beach conservation groups also use recycled Christmas trees to combat erosion. The Christmas trees hold the sand well and buffer the wind, which reduces the erosion of our precious beaches. 

Reach out to your local environmental organization to see if they are accepting Christmas tree donations this year. Find a cause that resonates with you and send them your old Christmas tree to really do your part for a better future.

Celebrate Christmas Responsively!

Decorating the Christmas tree is a treasured tradition during this joyous time of the year. Each year, your family shares many memories around the tree and your Christmas tree is the centerpiece of your Christmas decor throughout the holiday season. 

When it’s time to take down the decorations and pack Christmas away for another year, it can be confusing to know what to do with your beautiful tea. Today, we have looked at some of the best ways to recycle Christmas trees in a sustainable fashion to ensure you make the most out of Christmas.

Plus, many of these methods offer a fun DIY component that you and your family will love completing together. Celebrate the year's biggest holiday responsively - we owe the environment that at the very least!


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