Guest Guru: Recycling Christmas

December 27, 2010    |    By +
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Now that Christmas is over, what do you with the tree and all the other decorations and trimmings from the holidays? Instead of throwing everything away, here’s a complete guide of how to recycle everything from your tree, decorations, and even all those Christmas cards. Have yourself a very Eco-Christmas.

Christmas Trees

Over 33 million Christmas trees are sold each year in the US. That’s a lot of  lumber! There are many recycling plans which run throughout the country and curbside pick-up is often scheduled for two weeks after Christmas. Some offer local pick-ups, but if not, there is also a non-profit who will perform the service if you book an appointment.

Go to Free Cycle and find a group in your town/city to set up an appointment. Christmas trees can also be dropped off at recycling centers nationwide. Visit HERE and type in your zip code to find out more information about recycling services.

It is important that before you put your tree outside to be collected or to the recycling center, that you remove all decorations, especially Christmas lights. Some organizations will collect defective Christmas lights separately to ensure that they are disposed of correctly and do not end up in landfill sites.

You can make your old Christmas tree into a bird feeder by adding strings of popcorn, cranberries and peanut butter to its branches. After a while the tree’s branches will become brittle, making it easier to cut up and put in the garbage disposal for standard collection.

Holiday Cards

Exchanging holiday cards is a great Christmas tradition, and you never want to throw away the beautiful ones you receive from family and friends. But eventually they start to add up and you’ve got a Christmas mountain on your hands. So what can you do with your stash of cards at home?

One way is to donate them to St.Jude’s Ranch recycled card program where children and volunteers turn old cards into new ones and sell them to raise money for abused and neglected children.

This Regreet Kit if a genius way to organize and reuse any type of greeting card. It comes with a binder that’s organized by month, so it will remind you of upcoming birthdays and occasions where you can reuse your cards.  There’s plenty of pocket space to store all your cards and it comes with materials to turn your old cards into new ones and track them as the make their way from friend to friend.

For the DIY-er’s our there, there are also ways that you can recycle the cards at home by turning them into gift tags, or to make a Christmas wreath from card collages that can be enjoyed next holiday.

Photo Courtesy of: Groves Nurseries

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Meet the Gurus

Kathryn D.W.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is the senior manager of content at She was formerly the executive editor at Honolulu Magazine, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Shopping on Oahu. Her career has included staff positions at Country Living Gardener and Power & Motoryacht. Her latest book is "Hawaii's Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!"

Gwen P.
Gwen is the Editorial Curator at In addition to writing blogs, she creates gift guides, curates the site, and produces content for our social media channels. As a freelance writer, she created blogs on fashion, art, travel, health and lifestyle. A talented jewelry designer, she's also a yogi and a hospital volunteer with her therapy dog, Lilo, a Pomeranian.