Six top tips to recycle your Christmas tree

17 December 2018

Around seven million Christmas trees are sold in Britain every year, but almost 160,000 tonnes of trees get dumped after the festive period’s over. This costs millions in landfill taxes, and leaves a hefty carbon footprint.

So what can you do when Christmas is over, and you’re left with a bare tree and pine needles all over the floor? Here are our top six tips for recycling your old Christmas tree.

Recycle or replant your tree

Check with your local council to see if they offer a Christmas tree recycling service. Some local councils set up Christmas tree drop off points, and some collect old trees to be recycled.

If you’ve got a potted Christmas tree, you can re-plant it back in your garden. You’ll need to re-pot it once it gets bigger and, eventually, it’ll need to go in the garden or be recycled – but the carbon saving will be huge.

If you’ve rented a tree, you just need to return it to the farm that supplied it. Some Christmas tree farms even offer a collection service.

Create a wildlife sanctuary

Chopped wood makes a lovely haven for the wildlife in your garden – a small pile in a quiet corner of your garden will provide shelter for hedgehogs, bugs and insects.

You could even plant your old Christmas tree in a large pot, and use it to hang bird feeders from. Check out our recipe for vegan friendly fat balls.

Use it as fire wood

If you’ve got a fireplace in your house, or you know someone who does, chop up your old Christmas tree to be used as fire wood. And it’s carbon neutral, as burning your tree emits the same level of carbon dioxide stored when it was growing.

Make it into fish food

If you’re looking for an easy option, dump your Christmas tree in your garden pond. It might sound lazy but, as it decomposes, it will provide a habitat for fish and attract algae for them to eat.

Use the needles as mulch

You can use your old Christmas tree as mulch in your garden, which will help prevent soil erosion and the ground freezing over during cold spells.

You could even pop some of your old tree on your compost heap – although avoid using too much, as the needles take a long time to break down.

Make potpourri

Fill a bowl with dried stems from your Christmas tree, or the fallen pine needles. Add a cinnamon stick, some cloves, nutmeg, and some lemon and orange rind, and you’ll enjoy the festive scent throughout January.

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