How to get rid of your Christmas tree in an eco-friendly way

Now that Christmas has been and gone, those who celebrate it are faced with the miserable task of having to remove their festive decorations.

While taking down tinsel and fairy lights shouldn’t take too long, figuring out how best to dispose of your Christmas tree is far trickier.

Throwing your tree away in a landfill is an irresponsible course of action, as doing so will cause the tree to decompose and produce the greenhouse gas methane, environmental organisation Greenpeace explains.

So how can you get rid of your Christmas tree in a way that won’t have a detrimental impact on the environment?

Here are some of the most eco-friendly options:

Reach out to a local charity to collect it

There are several charitable organisations around the UK that arrange for Christmas trees to be collected from homes in exchange for a small monetary donation.

Once the trees have been collected, they’re then recycled.

“What better way to dispose of your Christmas tree giving it a new lease of life than by registering it to be collected and recycled raising money for local charities,” writes UK charity JustHelping.

To find a local charity that’s collecting Christmas trees in England and Wales, take a look at this map here.

Take you tree to get recycled

Once your Christmas tree has fulfilled its festive purpose, there are multiple parks that you can take it to so that you can have it recycled.

From 5 January until 19 January, Surrey Heath Borough Council is running a scheme where members of the community can drop their Christmas trees off and have them turned into wood chippings.

These wood chippings are then used to “replenish paths in our parks”.

Haringey Council also runs a similar initiative in its parks, with the aim of “cutting carbon emissions”.

To find out where you can recycle your Christmas tree, enter your postcode on Recycle Now’s recycling locator here.

Your local council may even allow you to leave your Christmas tree with your allocated garden waste bin.

Turn your tree into a wildlife habitat

If you have the correct tools to chop up your Christmas tree yourself, you can then use the remains to create a habitat for the wildlife in your garden, Wyevale Garden Centres explains.

“Chop up the trunk and branches of your Christmas tree and leave in a pile in the corner of your garden to create shelter for wildlife,” the garden centre chain advises.

“Eventually, the wood will rot down and create compost to be reused on your plants.”

Wyevale Garden Centres also suggests leaning a part of the tree against your garden fence and placing bird treats along it for feathered visitors to enjoy.

Replant it

You don’t necessarily have to say goodbye to your Christmas tree just because the festive season is over.

According to gardening services company Fantastic Gardeners, Christmas trees can be replanted if the correct measures are taken.

A Christmas tree that’s going to be replanted shouldn’t be kept indoors for longer than 10 days.

“If you have enough space in your garden, choose a spot for the Christmas tree which is not exposed to strong winds but open to sunlight,” Fantastic Gardeners recommends.

“As to the soil – it is ideal that you have loose, non-clay soil to allow for proper drainage.”

The planting hole for the tree in your garden should be twice as large as the tree’s root ball.

For more information on how to replant your Christmas tree, click here.

One Greenpeace supporter explained to the environmental organisation how her parents successfully replanted their Christmas tree.

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“My parents stuck theirs in a pot of soil last year as an experiment and because they enjoy watching the birds playing in it,” she wrote on Facebook in 2017.

“However, it somehow managed to root itself and start growing again.

“They used it again this year and plan on continuing the tradition for as long as possible.”

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