There are plenty of good-quality artificial trees that look just like the real thing, nothing says Christmas quite like the smell of a fresh pine Christmas tree. But, on top of getting rid of tons of ripped up wrapping paper, packaging and packing away all your decorations and fairy lights, disposing of your real Christmas tree can often seem like a chore you’d rather avoid. From thoughtfully disposing of a tree to DIY projects — instead of simply throwing it in the trash or letting die a slow and messy death in your living room, why not try one of these simple ideas and recycle your real Christmas tree instead?
Create a DIY project.
If you want to flex a little DIY muscle and take on a project for the holidays, why not consider removing the branches and cutting your Christmas tree trunk into coasters. Just be sure to sand down the surfaces, stain, and seal before using them.
The best base you can use for a new compost pile is a layer of thin branches (evergreen branches included) because they allow a little airflow at the base of your compost. Simply trim branches off your Christmas tree and stack them into a pile about 6 inches high.
Turn it into firewood.
If you have a fireplace or fire pit, you can cut your tree up and use it for firewood come winter. Remember, however, that while the needles will dry quickly you’ll likely need to wait a few months before your trunk and branches are dry enough to burn. Always check whether there is a fire ban in place before lighting an outdoor fire.
Turn it into mulch.
If you have a shredder or chipper, you already know what to do. If you don’t, however, it doesn’t mean you can’t mulch your Christmas tree. Simply cut the thinner branches from the tree and then cut those into little pieces (around 4cm). These cuts are great for adding mulch to garden beds or creating mulch pathways.
Shelter for birds.
When placed in your backyard, a Christmas tree can provide food and shelter for wildlife, especially birds. Better yet, you could hang a bird feeder or bird treats from the tree to attract birds. You can either transfer your tree into a pot or simply use your tree stand in the garden. Eventually the tree will die and then it can be cut up and composted or placed in your green waste bin.
Dry out the branches.
You can create a unique decoration for next Christmas by collecting varying lengths of branches from your tree before recycling it. With your branches, you can make a “tree” in a vase for next year. Just add decorations and it can adorn a side table or be the dining table center piece on December 25.
Savor the scent.
If you love the sweet smell of Christmas trees, making your very own festive potpourri is a great way to bring the scent into your bathroom – or other areas around the home – next Christmas. You just need to collect a small bowl of pine needles or fill a few sachets. If you want to take your potpourri to the next level, you might even consider adding in a cinnamon stick, orange rind and cloves.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Homes to Love.