Post-Christmas Recycling

If Christmas is the happiest day of the year, December 26th might just be the most depressing. It’s the comedown after a month long holiday high. Presents have been opened, friends and family are dispersing back into their own busy lives and the season of feasting is over.

Your beautiful Christmas tree, bedazzled with tinsel and lights and homemade ornaments, has quickly become a painful reminder that it’s all over. But please, don’t take your post-holiday rage out on the environment. Rather than just chucking your tree into the nearest dumpster: RECYCLE!




There are a variety of beneficial ways to dispose of your pine-scented friend.

  1.  Curbside pick-up: After you’ve removed any and all festive accessories, drag your tree the twenty feet between your door and the street and wave Mr. Evergreen goodbye. Many areas offer this service free of charge, but there are plenty of local nonprofit organizations that will come retrieve your tree for a small donation. (Do it for the Boy Scouts!)
  2.  Yard waste: To release some tension, take to your tree with a chainsaw or maybe just your bare hands. Hack it into bits and jam it into your yard waste. Slam dunk!
  3.  Recycling program: Turning your retired Christmas trees into mulch for your garden has become wonderfully trendy, but if you don’t have a green thumb, consider donating it to organizations that will make sand and erosion barriers out of it.
  4.  Feeding animals: If mankind gets on your nerves, help out animal-kind with your tree. Sinking it into private ponds for fish to inhabit or placing it in the garden with popcorn garland for birds are great ways to pass on the holiday spirit to the animal kingdom.
  5. Buy a rooted tree: If you’ve got the space, consider purchasing a tree next year that can be planted after Christmas. These trees often come in pots or burlap sacks ready to find new, permanent homes. (Pro tip: Pre-dig the hole in autumn before the soil gets too hard.)

Wow, who knew there were so many ways to get rid of your tree?!

Let’s keep this knowledge train going!

Here are a few other ideas for how to recycle after the holidays:

  1.  Recycle your wrapping paper or shred it to use as packing material
  2. Cut off the back half of Christmas cards and keep the front for gift tags next year
  3. Find an organization that will recycle your old lights (like Home Depot) and purchase a string of LEDs for next year. LEDs consume up to 90% less energy than traditional Christmas lights!

All this talk about post-Christmas recycling sounds invigorating. It’s like giving Mother Earth mouth-to-mouth.

I hereby rename December 26th: That’s a Wrap Day.



Lindsey White

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