Thank the Live Christmas Tree You’ll Enjoy This Season

By Liesl Clark (Reblogged from Pioneering the Simple Life)

Five dollars and some good footwear will get you on the slopes of the Olympics undertaking an adventure that’s guaranteed to tighten bonds in your family and connect you to a Christmas tree you can “weed” from the forest. This sustainable practice, offered by the U.S. Forest Service,  means the trees left behind get more light and nutrients. It’s Christmas tree shopping with a sense of meaning, connection, and good old fashioned adventure.

Many people can’t afford the $30-on-average pre-cut trees at your local lot. These come in every shape and size. But with a little effort (don’t forget your handsaw) you can pick out a custom-grown tree for your space.

Here’s what the USFS says about it: “Forest Service Christmas Tree permits …. are $5.00 each and are good for one U-cut tree on the Olympic National Forest. Permits may be purchased at any Olympic National Forest office (Forks, Olympia, Quilcene, Quinault).”

USFS rangers say they don’t need to re-plant “because the trees seed themselves so readily,” hence the locations where you can cut are specified dense tree locations where you’re encouraged to weed one that’s close to others.

Elf & Tree
Elf & Tree

Time is still ripe for the picking. Enjoy the beautiful drive, the invigorating hike, and the quest to find that perfect tree. Our tradition is to thank the tree before we cut it down, being mindful of the water, sun, and soil that provided for its life in the first place.

When you’re done with your Christmas tree, be sure it gets chipped or recycled. Many cities and towns have Christmas tree curbside pickup programs or Boy Scouts are known to have collection and pick-up days, for a small donation. Your local compost facility would love to take it off your hands, too. A chipped tree makes excellent mulch and compost.

For more detailed Christmas tree recycling and reuse ideas, please visit our Trash Backwards app where you can input any item and learn how to reduce, reuse, recycle it. Don’t miss out this year on the benefits your tree can provide the planet!

Christmas Tree Recycling and Reuse Ideas

If you have any reduce, reuse, recycle ideas for Christmas trees to add to our app, please submit them for others to see on our add-a-solution page.

DSC_0242.2, Photo © Liesl Clark

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: DIY, Plastic-Free Living, Recycle


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  1. Have Yourself a Handmade Christmas « Trash Backwards - December 20, 2012

    […] together: Wreath making, gingerbread house constructing, ornament crafting, cookie baking, tree-finding, gift-making, creative wrapping, card-garlanding. Every day our activity advent calendar is filled […]

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