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Real Christmas Tree? Plant, Mulch, or Compost it after the holidays!

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Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, household waste increases by more than 25%. Food waste, wrapping paper, Christmas cards, ribbons, boxes, decorations, and more add an additional 1 million tons of trash per week to our landfills.

25-30 million real Christmas Trees are sold in the U.S. every year. After the holiday is over, these trees are stripped of their pretty decorations and often end up being put out with the trash. They will eventually end up in landfills, where they will produce methane that contributes to global warming...instead, please compost them!

There are many ways we can reduce the amount of waste we produce during the holiday season. Ensuring that we avoid plastic, use eco-friendly gift wrapping, reduce our food waste, and more. Paying attention to what happens to our real christmas trees after the holiday is another way we can reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill!

recycle christmas tree

“Oh! that I were now laid on the wagon, or standing in the warm room, with all that brightness and splendor around me! Something better and more beautiful is to come after, or the trees would not be so decked out. Yes, what follows will be grander and more splendid. What can it be? I am weary with longing. I scarcely know how I feel.”

- The Fir Tree, Hans Christian Anderson

If your real tree has roots, you can replant it after the holiday and even use it again the following year. The vast majority of real trees are purchased without roots, but don’t worry - these can be mulched and/or composted instead! The compost created returns valuable nutrients to our soil, and mulch will also eventually break down in the soil and contributes to good soil health.

Many cities and communities create drop off sites where you can take your tree to be mulched and/or composted after the holiday, check with your local officials or composting facilities to find out when and where!

Before dropping off your tree be sure to remove all non-organic objects such as lights, wire, tinsel, ornaments and nails. These can ruin the machinery and contaminate the mulch or compost.

Don’t have access to a composting program? Let your local leadership know you want one! We can all work together to end landfills and make composting accessible to all!