So the holidays are over, and you’re ready to retire your old artificial Christmas tree. What are your options? Here are a few alternatives to just throwing the whole thing in the dump.
1. Around Christmastime, most communities offer curbside pick-up of both real and artificial Christmas trees. These programs vary from city to city, so the best bet is to check with the waste management authority in your area to find out what options are available.
2. Take your tree to a drop-off recycling center. Almost every city or town has a recycling center where you can drop off your plastic, glass, aluminum, scrap metal, paper or artificial Christmas tree.
3. Sometimes, non-profit organizations conduct recycling campaigns to raise money or sustainability awareness. Often, Boy and Girl Scout troops organize these types of campaigns. You could do a quick Google search or call similar non-profits in your area to see what recycling efforts they have in progress–they might come pick up your tree for you.
No matter where your artificial Christmas tree ends up, there are a few general guidelines to follow before hauling it off or setting it out for recycling. Follow these steps to make sure your tree is as recyclable as possible:
Remove all lights. This could be trickier on a pre-lit Christmas tree, but if it’s at all possible, un-string the wires so the tree can be easily recycled.
Remove all decorations. Any non-organic decorations like garland, tinsel or ornaments should be removed, because they’ll interfere with the recycling process.
If you’re more interested in repurposing your artificial tree than recycling it, try cutting the limbs apart to create wreaths or garland you can use to ornament your front door, mantle or banisters in years to come. Depending on the shape of the limbs on your artificial tree, you should be able to use wire cutters to snip them to the length you want and re-use them around your home to add a touch of greenery and freshness.
Coupled with festive ribbons, lights and ornaments, last year’s Christmas tree could add a lovely, magical touch to the rest of your seasonal decorations. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!
Christmas Lights All Year Round: Use these Chic Decorating Ideas to Light Up Your Home
You and Christmas haven’t always gotten along. Your memories of the holiday include your mother’s gigantic yard ornaments and gaudy reindeer sweaters. You may be surprised to know that Christmas can be quite chic. Before you raise your eyebrows and flashback to a 10-foot inflatable Frosty, check out these innovative ideas for year-round decorating with Christmas lights.
Christmas Lights in the Bedroom
The soft glow of Christmas lights in the bedroom creates a mellow, romantic vibe. Use white lights for the best result. Festoon your bed canopy with Christmas lights by draping them on top of the canopy and over the sides. Another great bedroom lighting idea is to secure lights to the wall in heart shapes or trail lights from bottom corner to top corner for a light-vine effect.
Festoon the frame of a hallway mirror with soft white Christmas lights. The lights reflected in the mirror creates a cozy glow.
Writing on the Wall
Use double-sided tape to create words on the wall. Then track the tape with Christmas lights for a truly captivating look.
A Tree Grows…On Your Wall
For this one you’ll needs lights and discarded branches. To find the branches, take a walk in your local park or check for sticks in your backyard. Use a handsaw or other tool to stagger the size of the branches. Drill a hole in the middle of each branch, string them together with twine and then hang the “tree” on your wall. Once it’s up, simple weave white Christmas lights in and out of the branches. Check out Turtles and Tails for detailed instructions.
This one is super easy. Simply wrap white lights around string balls. You can find the materials at your local craft store.
Check Christmas tree clearance after the holiday season to find lights at a great price. The rest of the materials you need for these fun decorating ideas are probably sitting around your house. Who knew that those twinkling lights could lend charm way beyond your artificial Christmas tree? Now, block those memories of your Mom’s yard ornaments out of your mind and start creating completely chic Christmas light images of your own.
There’s nothing worse than realizing your Christmas lights are a bust. It’s that moment when you ceremoniously plug the string of lights into the wall, ready to add the finishing touch to your tinseled work of art, only to realize there’s a bad bulb. Talk about a letdown. Disappointment like that doesn’t belong in your holiday. Next time you experience a bad bulb, be prepared by following these few simple tips.