After we learned that D.C. will pick up your Christmas Tree with trash and recycling until February 2nd, we started to wonder what other purposes Christmas trees serve. Surely they can’t just be decorative. Thankfully we found some pretty cool and wide ranging options for the next life of Christmas Trees. (As far as we know none of these are being implemented in D.C., but feel free to correct us at firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Christmas Trees sent to the landfill become a wildlife habitat
Kansas transformed an old landfill site into a vibrant habitat thanks to old Christmas Trees. Trees are deposited into rows to create a wildlife habitat – especially for smaller critters like birds and rabbits that can sneak under the trees are bed in the areas underneath.
- San Francisco recycles its trees as mulch
The city sends recycled trees through a wood chipper and then transports them to a transfer station where they’re converted into mulch and bark products that are sold for use in yards and gardens throughout Northern California.
- NYC does a similar thing, hosting a #MulchFest for neighbors to drop trees off to become mulch throughout city parks.
Last year they tree-cycled more than 26,000 trees.
- Old Trees in Austin become a treat puzzle for Zoo animals
Who knew your discarded pine would be such a hit with the lemurs, porcupines, and goats?
- Meanwhile, the Stuttgart Zoo uses discarded trees as jungle gyms for their feline and aviary residents.
Large mammals like to tear apart the trees, elephants enjoy the snack, and birds like hiding and exploring in them.
- In North Carolina, trees help combat beach erosion.
The trees’ bristly branches trap sand in the dunes, helping to hold down areas of the shoreline.
- Fish reap the benefits too, as trees placed underwater in Illinois help create mini aquatic ecosystems.
They also keep out invasive species when piled like an enormous, prickly beaver dam.
Interested in helping conserve your local environment? You don’t need a Christmas tree barrier for that! Becoming an Evergreen member, planting trees on your property, or advocating for green spaces are some of the many ways you can make a difference.