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Eco-Friendly Tips for Recycling Your Live Christmas Tree

With Saint Nick back in the North Pole for another year, what to do with the decor becomes a question in many households.

Nearly half of the world’s population — 45% — celebrates Christmas. With less than a third of the global population being Christian – 31% — there are millions of people who celebrate outside of religious beliefs. The latest estimates by put the number of real trees sold in the United States alone at 25-30 million per year.

There are some environmentally friendly options for you.

Look for a local “MulchFest”

In many areas, like New York, there are multiple stations that participate in a MulchFest. It is an operation that can convert old Christmas trees into usable mulch. The city even has a pick-up service.

It is a tremendous opportunity to recycle the tree as well as help contribute to the beautification of the area. New York City uses the wood chips to add greenspaces within the city. Last year over 50,000 Christmas trees were processed in NYC. The city is gearing up for a major drive on Jan. 7 with each donation coming with a returned bag of useable mulch for a street-tree.

“Put on your boots and haul your tree to a Mulchfest location,” the Parks & Rec website reads. “We’ll chip your tree into wood chips that we’ll use to nourish trees and make NYC even greener.”

Help Give A Gift To The Lake

This is a great way to up-cycle: give your Christmas tree as a present to fish. has a great resource page on how this process can work to your benefit, too.

“What better Christmas present could there be than a new home? Not much if you are a bass, crappie or bluegill,” it brilliantly reads. “Once submerged, the tree trunks and branches become a nursery for small warm water fish. Those fish attract larger, catchable fish that congregate in the area looking for an easy meal. Plus, you will have a secret spot to call your own.”

The site goes into the key factors on Why to Sink a Tree, What You Need to Get Started, as well as Regulation Recommendations.

Many states in the south are even asking the public to donate their trees specifically for fish habitats. Missouri Department of Conservation Fisheries Management issued a statement on the very subject.

“Much like we as humans need a home, fish also need to have shelter so that they can rest, feed, and hunt,” Biologist John Schulte said in the release. “With this cover new generations of fish are more or less likely to be eaten, which can potentially help support the fishery,… quality fishing opportunities for our anglers now and in the future.”

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