Christmas trees are supposed to be the bringers of good tidings and Christmas cheer, right? So why dispose of them in the landfill where they will emit nasty greenhouse gases like methane, which is a 30 times more potent heat-trapping gas than carbon? Luckily, there are lots of other more environmentally-friendly fates for your tree!
Your best bet is going to be leaving a clean, unflocked tree curbside for your local municipal recycling program or compost center. Check with your program for size limits (San Francisco doesn’t accept trees taller than six feet), pick up schedules, and other requirements. Be sure to also remove (and hopefully store for next year) all tinsel, lights, and ornaments before setting it out for recycling.
For those with a green waste collection at home but no tree pick up program, you can cut the tree into small pieces, and put it in your green bin or your personal or community compost pile.
Additionally, some towns have programs to put Christmas Trees to good use! In Walla Walla, WA (where Emma currently lives) there is a program where the local Boy Scout troop comes by to pick up Christmas trees and uses them to build habitats for wildlife at the local lake.
Another option is to check Earth 911 for Christmas tree collection sites near you. Some non-profits, like the Boys & Girls Club will collect trees as well.
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