Don’t kick it to the curb: 13 ways to recycle your Christmas tree

Just a few weeks ago, you picked out the perfect live Christmas tree and lit it up with twinkling lights. Hopefully the little feller made it through the holidays, but now what do you do with the spruce moose? It’s easier to recycle your Christmas tree than you may think. Instead of hauling it out to the garbage, we have 14 suggestions that are kinder on landfills and give your tree a second life.

Mulch love: Use slow-decomposing pine needles to give your garden some TLC. Some communities even do the mulching themselves, then let residents take some home.

Put a bird on it: Leave it in the stand and hang bird feeders from it. (Put it outside first, of course.)

Save your table: Saw the trunk into thin slices, then coat them with polyurethane and use as tree coasters.

Give it back: Lots of cities have programs to recycle trees, which are biodegradable.

Make your own kind of music: Here are instructions for turning a Christmas tree into a didgeridoo.

Fight fire: Burning Christmas trees can be dangerous, especially indoors, so proceed with caution. Of course, some do cut their trees into firewood.

Sachet, Shantay: Put the pine needles in a little bag to keep the scent of Christmas around a few more weeks.

Scratching post: After trimming away the branches and securing the trunk, surrender the tree to your cats’ claws. Your local zoo or wildlife center might even want them for their big cats.

Fir-ment: Turn your tree into spruce beer.

Put it in the ground: Done right, you can actually replant a Christmas tree.

It sleeps with the fishesDonate your tree to a fish and wildlife department, so it can serve as a habitat for finned friends.

Rabbit fir coat: Give neighborhood bunnies some cover by creating brush piles with the branches.

Create a festive playground: Rent a wood chipper, run your tree through it, and marvel at your newly created playground cover. Now all you need is a big metal slide and a see-saw. No, we don’t know where to get those.

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