January 4, 2019 by
Every year, around 7 million Christmas trees end up in tips across the country. Many are driven around the UK to landfill sites, while others are simply dumped on roadsides and street corners. All of this only adds to the incredible amount of waste that’s left after Christmas. Looking for an easy way to re-use and recycle your Christmas tree will not only help out the planet, but it means you’ll get more out of that expensive tree, too! Whether you consider yourself eco-friendly or not, you’ll still want to get more value for money out of that old tree, so don’t take it to the tip, read these tips and re-use it around the house!
That’s right – you can use parts of your Christmas tree in a variety of tasty recipes! Pine needles will add a citrus kick to almost any food, and they make a great seasoning for meat and fish. They don’t just make for a zesty flavouring, though; they’re packed with vitamin C, too!
There are a number of different ways you can use pine needles in cooking. You can dry them out and crush them into a powder to sprinkle on top of any dish, or you can infuse them into vegetable oil for a fresh, zesty flavour. You can even use them on a barbecue to add a unique, zingy, smoky flavour to any meat! Simply dry out the fronds and put them on your barbecue for some succulent smoked meat – it’s delicious all year round!
Make it a Wildlife Shelter
If you know your Christmas tree is chemical-free, you can use it to create a wildlife shelter for a range of critters. By securing your tree outdoors, you can easily hang bird feeders from it or, if you’re feeling crafty, carve a small hollow into the tree’s trunk for birds to cosy up in. If you have a pond, or if you live near a lake, you can pile up some of your tree’s branches by the water’s edge or in the water itself. This will create a shelter for fish and amphibious animals like frogs to hide out in through the winter!
It’s important to note that you should always get permission from your local council if you’re doing this on public land, but it’s worth the effort, especially if you have young children. They’ll really enjoy winter walks to check up on their own wildlife shelters!
Pine needles make for the perfect mulching material. They dry out very quickly but they decompose very slowly, so you can use pine branches to make a hardy mulch that will protect your plants from the cold winter weather. You can use this mulch all year round, too – in summer it helps your plants retain moisture!
Use mulch to give your garden a rustic look by covering up the bare patches of soil that tend to appear over winter. You can use both your tree’s trunk (if you break it down into wood chips) and branches to create a mulch that will both protect and improve the health of your garden.
You can easily use your tree to make some stunning rustic coasters for your dinner table, and you don’t even have to be good at crafts to do it! Just strip off the branches from your tree and cut the trunk into discs of about half an inch to an inch thick. After that, you can use some sandpaper to smooth out both sides of your coaster and make sure they’re nice and flat. Once you’ve sanded both sides of the coaster, all that’s left to do is to seal it with some varnish and you’re done!
If you don’t want to make coasters, you can use these wooden discs for a whole range of other things. You can make cute decorations for your home, use them to create borders for your garden, or anything else you like – the only limit is your imagination!
If your tree is still alive, you can always just replant it in your garden! Christmas trees are hardy and don’t need much maintenance, and will provide shelter for a whole host of wildlife for you to observe. Check the root ball of the tree is intact before you plant it – the roots should hold a lot of soil quite well, so you should be able to tell easily.
Pine trees are resilient, so provided you dig a deep enough hole (try to dig when it’s mild out, as digging in frozen soil is difficult), it should take root in no time at all, giving your garden a year-round festive touch! Bear in mind, though, that as pine trees are so strong, they can quickly overpower other plants by blocking out light and soaking up all the water in the ground. If you have sensitive plants in your garden, make sure you plant your Christmas tree a good distance away from them.