Well Being

Healthy Holidays: Don’t Forget To Recycle Your Christmas Tree

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While you're rounding up yesterday's unwanted gifts (like a scale or a Thighmaster, perhaps?) for Boxing Day and preparing to get back on track with your workouts, don't forget to do a little Googling about where, in your town, you can recycle that eco-friendly, real Christmas tree you sprung for. Tree-recycling varies from city to city, but the outcome is the same no matter where you are: a healthier planet in 2012.

Don't be tempted to haul the Tannenbaum out to the curb and leave it for the birds (or the elements) to deal with. Getting someone to come pick up your tree, or hauling it yourself to somewhere that recycles, ensures that the sustainable materials in it are put to better use. Whether it's mulched, made into medicine (seriously!), or composted, the pulp and needles from the tree can be re-used to create something new, like awesome, natural fertilizer or ground-cover for playgrounds and parks. Also, a lot of Christmas tree hauling is for charity.

Depending on where you live, your sanitation department may offer tree recycling, which often puts the mulched or composted trees back to civic use, by putting the material around your town in planters or parks. If it doesn't (or if you'd like to directly help a charitable organization), your local Boy Scout chapter may be offering pick-up service for a small fee–that will go back to funding their yearly events. It's like cookies for the Girl Scouts, only less likely to kill your diet with charity-calories.

And if the Boy Scouts don't jive with your personal beliefs, or you'd rather do the work of hauling the tree yourself, turn to your search engine and type in “Christmas tree recycling.” It's different in every city, and there's sure to be a non-profit that can help you out. But regardless of where you are, make sure you remove any and all ornaments, and, if you're putting it in a yard waste bin, cut the tree into pieces that will fit (consider this your cardio for the day).

Once you're done enjoying your festive Christmas tree, consider giving it a new life as something else–like compost or medicine. But of course, there's no rush. Surely, you've got plenty more time before the holidays are actually over, right?

Image: Thinkstock

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