Don't Throw Out That Christmas Tree! - FamilyEducation

Don't Throw Out That Christmas Tree!

by Elizabeth Holthaus

Christmas may be over, but your tree doesn't have to go to waste. Discover the satisfaction of recycling.

I finally solved my love/hate relationship with my Christmas tree.

The dilemma: I love having a decorated Christmas tree in the house, but I hate to toss the tree in the landfill when the holiday is over.

The solution: Recycle it. Pass it down the food chain by making a tree for your friendly, neighborhood birds.

Make sure the tree is completely free of ornaments, lights, and especially tinsel. Then take it out to your yard, a school playground, or a park. Stand the tree up in a pail filled with stones, or sand, (or water for an ice-base if weather permits); or bring your indoor tree-stand outside.

Trimming a tree for the birds
The trimmings on this tree are limited only by your holiday leftovers and your imagination. These are the favorites of the birds in my back yard:

  • pine cones spread with peanut butter and rolled in bird seed (use only natural cones -- no paint or glitter)

  • orange halves, hollowed-out and filled with crumbs and seeds

  • popcorn and berries on a string

  • donut on a string (sandwiched between 2 plastic lids for stability)

  • stale bread cut into shapes

  • scraps of ribbon and yarn for nesting materials

This project provides a real feel-good closure for the holiday season -- it's fun, it's free, and even the littlest kids can get involved. And the birds (and squirrels) will have a feast they'll never forget.

HINT: For a slightly more manageable project: Do the same thing with your wreath.

Please don't delete it