love the earth, recycle your tree

I love this planet, don’t you? We have everything we need right here. Water to keep us hydrated, cleansed, and renewed. Food to energize our bodies. Plants to inspire us and encourage our natural healing abilities… and so much more. So how can we bow down and show our deepest respect to this life-giving mother of a planet? Take only what we need and give back what we are finished benefitting from.

I thoroughly enjoy having a Yuletide (or Christmas, if you prefer) tree during the winter holidays. It brings me joy to smell the fresh resinous scent of evergreen, to cover the tree in shiny heirloom ornaments, to light up our home in the darkness. We drive to a tree farm in New Jersey that does not spray chemicals on their trees. We carefully choose our tree and thank it for providing us with festive feelings. My sweetheart cuts it and we bring it home. The boughs we trim from the tree go into oil for healing salves, in vinegar (for vitamin C), and in alcohol for a stimulating tincture. When the holidays are over and the tree has lost its luster, we carefully pack away the decorations. Then we bring it to the community garden and have it mulched. Our tree will return to the soil. It will slowly break down, providing organic matter, slowly percolating water to roots, modulating the ground temperature for trees and perennial shrubs. Our tree will not be sent to a landfill in a plastic bag. It is not trash.

If you have a tree that you’ve finished celebrating, please recycle it. This weekend, January 7 & 8, NYC Department of Parks and Recreation is holding its annual Mulchfest. Bring your tree to a participating park or garden and return it to the earth. Thank you!

(Alternatively, NYC Department of Sanitation says they’ll recycle your tree – just make sure it is completely naked when you put it on the curb. Collection will be up until January 14.)

PS. Please, do not do this with your tree:

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