We’re deep in the holiday season now, but once Christmas has passed, it’ll be time to lug that real tree out of the house and figure out what to do with it now after it’s been sitting in your house for weeks. Instead of sending it to the landfill, try a more eco-friendly option.Turn it into firewood. Probably the most obvious option, but there are some caveats. Let the tree dry out completely before burning, as the wet wood can pose a fire hazard. Christmas trees are also best for outdoor burning. As a bonus, add the Christmas tree ashes to your garden for some much-needed nutrients. Insulate your garden. Cut a few branches from your tree and lay them over your garden to protect delicate plants from any winter freezes and changing temperatures. Plus, your garden will smell festive for months. Turn it into mulch. Pine needles decompose slowly and make great moisturizing mulch. Some cities allow you to put your tree on the curb for pickup to be recycled or designate drop zones. Check with your city to see if this is an option for you. Donate it to your backyard wildlife. Set it outside in or out of its stand and let the squirrels and birds take over. They can use it as winter shelter, or you can hang bird feeders from the branches. Just remember to fill the feeder all winter. Make it into a fish feeder. Simply drop the tree into a pond or lake (with permission if it’s not your own, of course) and let the water do the rest. The submerged tree will grow algae that can feed fish while providing them protection from predators. Get crafty. Turn your old tree into coasters, a birdfeeder, a clock or post-Christmas potpourri.
READ: The pros and cons of real vs. artificial Christmas trees