The most anticipated holiday has come and gone, and now you are left with a dried out tree in your living room. It always seems a bit gloomy to throw out your dried up tree, that was once so decorated and brought holiday cheer!  Luckily, you don’t have to throw it out, like discarded wrapping paper.  There are some really creative and interesting ideas to reuse your Christmas tree! Of course, if you are completely exhausted from the season and are not looking forward to the clean up or any new projects,  you should check with your local city or county for appropriate ways to discard your tree. Or you can go to Earth 911 and type in “Christmas Trees” and your zip code to find out how your city’s recycling program works.  Just please don’t put it out with your regular trash or it might end up in the landfill, not quite the proper end to its noble service over the holidays.

If you are looking for a neat and interesting way to reuse that dried up decoration, we have compiled three really neat ways to do just that. Send off your lovely tree with well deserved style.

1) Return to Nature: It might seem a little harsh to chop up your cherished holiday decoration, however, it is a great way to return your tree to nature. You can do this one of two ways if you have a yard or fireplace. The first, is to turn your old tree into mulch for your garden. You can either chop it into little bits yourself or bring it to a store to have it run through a chipper. The mulch will help with soil erosion during the winter months and the fauna in the gardens will appreciate it! The other way to return your tree to nature is to chop it into logs and use as firewood. Fireplaces are a great way to heat your house in during to cold winter and a chopped tree will provide you with plenty of fuel!

2) Eat That Tree: You read that right! There is a new trend out to actually eat your Christmas tree! Chef René Redzepi suggests we use our trees in a number of dishes. He lists a ton of great uses in food such as drying the needles to make a spice and add it to cookie dough, rice, or even in main courses. He also suggests using the branches much like rosemary and thyme to add to any dish or making spruce butter! He stated a poignant argument for his reasoning: “Nature takes enormous time and effort to produce something that we use only briefly. Why don’t we make greater use of this living tree, as we make use of so many other kinds of plants on earth, by eating it?” We have to agree!

3) Make Arts & Crafts: Wood is a wonderful medium to create art with. When Christmas is over you will have an abundance of materials to make arts and crafts out of.  Plus, woodworking is a terrific way to pass the dull and cold winter months that lie ahead.  There are many creative things to make out of wood including coasters, candle holders, even ornaments for next year! You can get a head start on next years gifts, by simply reusing your Christmas tree.

After reading through these fun ways to reuse our Christmas tree, we are excited to try a few out! We, at the AP office are going to try a few of those recipe suggestions above and spruce up our winter meals. Pun definitely intended. What will you do with your Christmas Tree?