How to Properly Get Rid of Your Christmas Trees & Other Holiday Decorations

How to Properly Get Rid of Your Christmas Trees & Other Holiday Decorations

After your Christmas tree and Christmas decorations have fulfilled their destinies, you may be wondering what to do with them now. Now that Santa has already come and gone, it’s time to say goodbye to your fading evergreen and the decorations that went along with it. While this may feel a little sad or nostalgic, it might cheer you up to know that there are easy and proper ways to get rid of your tree and holiday decorations. While storing some of your Christmas decorations is usually a simple process, your Christmas tree can be a little trickier to get rid of. To help you out this year, we’ve consulted the experts on the best and greenest ways to go about disposing of your tree. Turns out there are many ways to say goodbye to your tree. Here's what the pros are saying.

Storing Holiday Decorations

Unless your holiday decorations are set to expire, such as live Christmas wreaths, then the best way to get rid of them is to simply store them. Canvas storage bins are a convenient and trustworthy way to keep all of your Christmas or holiday decorations safe and tidy until next year. When searching for greener alternatives, the experts recommend ditching disposable decors such as tinsel for more high-quality and longer-lasting decor that you can cherish and use for years to come.

When storing holiday decorations make sure they are put away in a tidy and orderly fashion so you can find them easily next year. For example, wrap up Christmas string lights in a way that they don’t tangle or break. Keep all of the personalized Christmas stockings in one box so you don’t have to bring everything down next year looking for a stray one. Neatly fold tree skirts and runners, and be sure to pack delicate decor in tissue or boxes, so they don’t break in storage.

For holiday decorations or Christmas ornaments, you're not storing there are several options for getting rid of them. Since we are trying to lean greener if you're keen on throwing something away first see if you can recycle it instead of just tossing it in the garbage. For items that you're tired of but that aren’t broken, consider donating or giving them away. For decor such as live wreaths, we’ll always recommend chopping it up for mulch or compost.

Fake Christmas Trees

There are many different ways to get rid of your Christmas tree which will ultimately depend on the kind of tree and where you live. While some people may think that opting for reusable plastic Christmas trees every year is more environmentally friendly, the experts tell us otherwise. According to The Nature Conservancy organization, choosing a real tree actually helps nature while choosing a fake one is more detrimental to the planet. While many people may think they have the intention to reuse their fake tree every year, the statistics tell us otherwise. According to Nature.org, around 10 million artificial trees are purchased each season and nearly 90% of them are shipped from China, increasing carbon emissions and resources.

Also, because they are typically made of different plastics, most artificial trees are not recyclable and end up in local landfills, leeching more microplastics and petrochemicals into local waterways and soil. If you do have a fake Christmas tree, try to dispose of it at a specialty transfer station or commit to storing it and using it, again and again, every year.

Live Christmas Trees

Live Christmas trees are a more eco-option that is good for the planet. Real trees don’t require the intensive carbon emissions it takes to produce and ship artificial trees, but they also capture carbon from the atmosphere and work to stave off climate change. You're also supporting local forests, ecosystems, and farmers by going for a live tree every year. Also, you can’t possibly beat the incredible smell of a fresh cut fir just brought into the house for Christmas. So, how can you get rid of a live tree?

According to the National Christmas Tree Association, don’t just throw your Christmas tree in the trash. Real Christmas trees are biodegradable, meaning that they are be easily reused or recycled for mulch, composting, and other purposes. While every location has its options for getting rid of live Christmas trees, unless you can just slip on your snow boots and drag your tree to the woods, here are some good ideas.

  1. Plan a bonfire: while you may need to wait a little longer for your tree to dry out if you have a yard and the space to safely turn your Christmas tree into a bonfire, then that can be a great way to light up the gloom of winter or welcome in the spring. Invite some friends over to enjoy and stay warm in down jackets while you enjoy the blaze of the tree.
  2. Curbside pickup: many towns or cities will collect trees during regular pickup schedules after Christmas so they can recycle them properly.
  3. Do it yourself: you can either take your tree to a recycling center especially for trees or check if there are tree mulching programs in your area or community. As mentioned, you can also mulch or compost the tree yourself for use or simply return it to the forest so it can return to the ecosystem.
  4. Return your tree: some Christmas tree farms offer a service where you can bring a live tree into your home for the holidays. But instead of cutting the tree, it’s in a pot with soil. At the end of the season, your farm replants it for the year. The best part is you get the same tree in your home, year after year.

Putting away all the Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands, and decorations can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these pro tips and you’ll make your Christmas cleanup a breeze.

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