Wednesday, January 2, 2013

How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree

"What are we going to do about this tree?" is a question uttered around the world on January 2nd. I love my Christmas tree, but I guess keeping it up until Valentine's Day wouldn't be Kosher. (Not that Christmas trees are at all Kosher. LOL!) Here's how to dispose of a Christmas tree the clean and green way:

First, see if your city has a Christmas tree recycling program. To find out, just Google "Christmas tree recycling [Your City]". It's that easy! You can use this info to strategically plan the day you curb your tree.

Providence has free curbside pickup of Christmas trees (and holiday trees too) from Monday, January 7 until Friday, January 18, 2013. The trees will be collected by Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation and turned into compost. They ask that residents do not put trees in any type of bag.

The NYC Department of Sanitation will be conducting special curbside collections for mulching and recycling of Christmas trees Wednesday, January 2 through Saturday, January 12, 2013. Trees will be chipped into mulch that will be distributed to parks, playing fields, and community gardens throughout the city. Please, no bagged trees here either.

New Yorkers can also participate in NYC Parks & Recreation Mulchfest by bringing their holiday trees to designated sites throughout the five boroughs on Saturday or Sunday, January 12 & 13, 2013, from 10 am to 2 pm. Free mulch will be available at Mulchfest locations so BYOB!

Then, get it out of your house without making a mess...

My favorite ornament. I love squirrels!
  1. Remove all lights, ornaments, and tinsel from your tree and save them for next year. I just throw my small collection of sturdy ornaments in a plastic storage bin, but Better Homes & Gardens has an impressive "Ultimate Guide to Storing Holiday Decorations." If you break any glass ornaments in the process Clean My Space has tips for cleaning them up.
  2. Remove your tree from the base. Be careful not to spill any water.
  3. Wrap an old sheet around your Christmas tree before hauling it through your apartment and out to the curb. Once the tree is outside, shake the sheet out so that you don't bring in any pine needles. You can wash the sheet as you normally would later.
  4. Fallen needles can clog your vacuum, so be sure to use a hand broom and dustpan to collect the bulk of the mess. You can touch things up with the hose attachment after you've done this.
  5. If tree sap gets on anything, it's easy to clean. Wash hard surfaces with warm water and a little dish detergent or Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds. You can remove sap from fabric by spot cleaning it with rubbing alcohol. Blot the sappy spot with an alcohol-moistened cloth, then blot up the dried sap with a new cloth or a clean, dry section of the same cloth.

Olivia Lane is a Blogger, Green Living Educator, and Health Coach trained at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She's also author of Baking Soda & Bliss: The Healthy & Happy Guide to Green Cleaning 

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