Elephants and Five Other Ways to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

ElephantWhat do you do with your used Christmas tree? Christmas is past and you need to take down all your decorations? You could give it to an elephant. That’s what they do at the Rostock Zoo in Germany.

The local Christmas tree sellers have been giving the elephants in the zoo unsold trees for the last 20 years. Zoo officials say a fir tree will aid an elephant’s digestion.

You can stand your used Christmas tree in your garden. Next summer, it will be all ready to support your climbing plants like cucumber, morning glory, pole beans, and squash.

If it snows where you live you could get your neighbors to donate their used Christmas trees and you can stand them in between the other shrubs and trees for a windbreak. The snow will build up against them to provide an insulating blanket of protection.

You can put your old tree in the back yard in view of your window and tie on different types of bird feed. The birds can enjoy a grand meal and you can enjoy the birds feasting in your used Christmas tree.

You can put your tree by the curb in most large cities and they will pick them up with their green waste. Your tree will be shredded and composted along with the garden waste and cardboard and used in producing a compost material that you can purchase back for your gardens or landscaping.

If you do put your tree out for recycle make sure you have removed all of the ornaments, light strings, and metallic items. If your tree is over 4 feet tall cut it into smaller pieces. If you have an artificial tree it can not be composted.

Your used Christmas tree can be ground up in a chipper and used for mulch around your plants to protect your plants. If you have a garden shredder – chipper you can add your tree to your own compost pile.

To check out this chipper “Click Here”

There are other materials that can be recycled to keep them out of the landfills.

Christmas cards can be put out for collection with the cardboard or shredded for your compost pile.

Wrapping paper can be shredded or put out at the curb for collection as long as it is not metallic or plastic-coated.

Cardboard packaging from presents should be unfolded and flattened and put out for collection at the curbside, or taken to a recycling center.

Glass jars, bottles, and cans used during the Christmas period can be put out for collection at the curb, or taken to a recycling center.

Vegetable peelings and other food waste from Christmas dinner can be used to start your own compost heap.

You can check out a Compost Tumbler at http://www.philthegardener.com/uct9/.
Meat and cooked food should not be composted at home.

  • An Elephant never forgets what he did with his tree and here is what you can do with yours.

    • You can use it to support your climbing vines in the garden
    • Use it for a windbreak to protect your shrubs and small trees
    • Use it for a bird feeder
    • Put it out by the curb for city pickup with their green waste
    • Chip it up for compost on your garden
    • Or feed it to your local elephant
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