28 December 2012

Traditions of the Tree

My family still has its Christmas tree--from each of the last six years.

In 2007, we started a new tradition of retiring our trees to the wooded area of my parents' property. This allows the trees to become part of the habitat, provide shelter for animals, and break down into the ground. (Currently, the trees from past years are serving as a trellis for blackberry vines.) Keeping the trees also lets them remain part of our lives.

Of course, not everyone has the space to provide permanent homes for their Christmas trees. However, disposing of them in a proper way is still important. (I cringe to see them tossed on the side of the road.) Fortunately, many local governments have options for recycling the trees.

In Washington state's Grays Harbor County, members of the Boy Scouts will collect and recycle the trees for free (donations are welcomed). For more information on this program, click here. Residents of Washington's King County can get information about their tree recycling program here. If you do not live in either of those counties, check the Web site of your county or city government to see if they have a program.

Recycling or reusing your tree is definitely one of the most important Christmas traditions.

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