What to do with real and artificial Christmas trees at the end of the holiday season

As we enter the new year, many homes are starting to shed their lights, lawn ornaments, and Christmas trees - but what is the best way to get rid of your tree while keeping the holiday season eco-friendly?

“One of the most important choices you have in making sure that your holiday decorations are sustainable, is how they get disposed (of).” Chris Neggers, the Director of Forest Conservation for the Nature Conservancy of Indiana, stated. “Real Christmas trees or other decorations are renewable, they’re compostable, they’re biodegradable.”

If you have a way to compost at home, composting your tree is one great way to make sure it is disposed of in a sustainable way. If composting at home isn’t an option, there are also local programs that can help you with your tree as well.

The City of South Bend will offer Christmas tree pickup services starting today through the first of February. All you have to do is schedule your pickup online. On your scheduled day, just leave your tree at the curb by 6AM free of any ornaments or lights.

The City of Elkhart will also be offering tree pickup starting next Monday, January 8th through the 19th.

These programs don’t apply to artificial Christmas trees, but if you really need to get rid of yours this year, there are still ways to do just that while keeping them out of the landfill.

When making those initial choices about your holiday decor, real Christmas trees are always the better option in terms of being eco-friendly. But for many people, that simply isn’t an option - and that’s okay! If you have an artificial tree at home right now, there are still ways to lessen the impact that these faux trees have on our planet.

Reusing your tree year to year is the best way to ensure that it doesn’t end up at the dump, but donating or selling it is also a great option if you can’t hold on to your tree anymore. The whole idea is to keep the tree in use for as long as possible.

Some areas also have programs to recycle artificial trees which is worth looking into if you need to get rid of yours.

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