With the BBC highlighting the environmental cost of products that are hard to recycle, surely we should do our bit with things that can be reused? After all, recycling and upcycling can be as good for your pocket as it can be for the environment.
So before you toss your Christmas tree in the bin, why not consider what else it could be used for?
Here are a few suggestions for how you can use that Christmas tree all year round...
Have all the fun of decorating your tree for a second time and just wait for the beautiful bird life to appear
You know it makes scents
Keep the awakening aroma of pine throughout the house by turning your tree into potpourri. Place pine needles in a pot with cinnamon sticks, cloves and cranberries and cover with water. Bring to a simmer rather than a boil. It is helpful if you keep the pot on the stove for up to three days, if possible, warming the contents each day. Then remove, allow to dry and place in small mesh bags with a ribbon. Great for keeping your bathroom, kitchen or linen drawers smelling fresh.
Saw your Christmas tree trunk into approximately half-an-inch thick pieces and turn them into cute, rustic-looking coasters. All you need to do is buy some varnish at your hardware store and give each a coating to stop them leaking sap. Once the coating is dry they’ll be ready to impress guests.
Those with a green thumb - tidy up your garden by using your Christmas tree stump. Saw it into chunks no smaller than two inches thick and use the pieces to create a border for any of your garden edges.
Stand and deliver
Don’t waste money buying pot plant stands – make your own with your Christmas tree trunk. A thick trunk is perfect for this. Saw the trunk into different sizes and simply balance pot plants on the top. These look great by the fireplace or outdoors.
Mulch things up
As any avid gardener is aware, mulch is fantastic stuff. It stops soil erosion, keeps your garden moist, prevents those pesky weeds from sprouting, protects plants and helps your soil maintain an even temperature. Now you can make your own by turning your Christmas tree into mulch. To establish it properly, this may be something you need to work on for a period of weeks. Ask at your local garden centre for help and advice on obtaining any necessary equipment.
Not just for the birds
Enhance your garden by moving the Christmas tree outside and turning it into a natural bird feeder. This can be a really enjoyable project for kids to get involved with. Decorate the tree with strings of popcorn, fresh fruit, or edible ornaments available from garden centres or online. Pine cone feeders and miniature bird houses are a nice touch. Have all the fun of decorating your tree for a second time and just wait for the beautiful bird life to appear.
There are plenty of creative ways to give your tree a new lease of life. Government advice on what to do with your tree is provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government and you can check your local council’s website for recycling options that may be available to you.
If you have any novel suggestions for how to reuse a redundant Christmas tree, be sure to let us know on Twitter.