Phil for Humanity
A Guide for the Survival of Humankind and Helping the World, Society, and Yourself.



Recycle Christmas Trees


It is almost that time of year again when we buy a new Christmas tree.

The obvious problem with Christmas trees is that there are very few ways to recycle them. Typically, Christmas trees are thrown away with the regular trash and end up in landfills where they may take decades to rot. When they do disintegrate, they still do not provide nutrients for anything growing, since they are buried under other trash.

I know some cities have centers that will convert old Christmas trees into mulch, but typically people have to deliver their trees themselves. This minor delivery inconvenience is apparently too much for some people. Fortunately, some cities are now picking up Christmas trees, but typically just one day the entire year. So please call your city and find out if and when they collect trees for mulching. If your city does not provide this service, then please consider one of these other alternatives.

If you or your neighbor has a woodchipper or mulcher, you can turn each Christmas tree on your street into free mulch for yourself. Woodchippers are useful yet extremely dangerous, so please be extra careful when operating them. And remember that mulch will help keep weeds from growing in your yard and also provide beneficial nutrients to your plants. So if you have a lot of trees growing on your property, consider buying a mulcher for not just your Christmas trees.

If you do not have access to a woodchipper, try cutting up your Christmas tree by hand or with a saw (please be careful with sharp tools). This will be easy when the tree is about a month old and when it will be dry and brittle. This will create a lot of small branches and logs can that also be used as prevent weeds from growing. Since these pieces of wood are not as aesthetically appealing as mulch, you can place these branches as mulch on the side of your house or backyard where no one will see them decomposing. Just remember to not stack these branches, since that would more likely provide homes for undesirable bugs and animals and also increase the amount of time for them to decompose.

Fortunately, even simple forms of recycling trees (and not just Christmas trees) helps save homeowners some money, helps promote a healthier and more manageable yard, and is better for the environment.

Happy Holidays,

The Other Grinch




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