Sustainable Christmas: Ideas to recycle your real Christmas Tree
Christmas 2019 is now over and it’s time to put those trees and decorations away for another year. I’m sure we all have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, our limbs (and purses) will remain in tact as we do our weekly shopping, and the reminder of Mariah Carey’s wish list and George Michael’s heartache shall cease. On the OTHER hand? Well, that’s obvious…Christmas is over! The decorations come down and it’s a bit of a shock to the system. You’ve become accustomed to the discovery of glitter in places where glitter should not be – the fridge…toilet…bellybutton…
Here at Kids Gone Wild, we’re all about positivity, creativity and sustainability and we want to prolong the cheer and ease ourselves back into normality. So, following a wholesome craft-blog-binge for inspiration, we’ve compiled some of our favourite ideas to keep us occupied and remind ourselves that, until normal service of school and work resumes, does it even matter what day of the week it is?!
“Love the trees until their leaves fall off, then encourage them to try again next year.” – Chad Sugg
I stumbled across this beautiful quote on www.onetreeplanted.org and it really sums up how we feel about trees! As you all know, we love them! Hugging them, climbing them, breathing because of them… And we have entered an era of heightened environmental awareness with a focus on returning to natural resources in a worldwide bid to reduce plastic waste and support our local ecosystems.
Whilst we cannot fault the old trusty tree that lurks in the loft for 11 months of the year, to be used and used again, we decided to branch out and get our (Rob’s) hands on our first real-ly prickly-Christmas tree!
Pro’s: it smells gorgeous; it is sustainable, especially if you can figure out what to do with it afterwards; …and it’s an amazing experience if you get to choose and chop your own!
Con’s: really prickly; needles everywhere; blocked hoover
So, leftovers – arguably the best part of Christmas. Dinner is sorted, but the tree? Well, it turns out, there is plenty to go around!
Meet Norman the Nordman from Duff Trees – he’s a special guy. So special in fact, that we’ve decided to replant him! We weren’t originally sure if he would take as he was felled and no longer had any roots, but we got a few tips and tricks from some of our Facebook followers. Ashley assured us that with enough moisture it should be fine and thankfully he had been kept in a pot of water for two weeks and we live in Scotland, where the soil quite often remains …….drookit!
And from Norman came baby Norman garlands! Now, we must first give the obligatory shout out to Martha and her craft-wizardry! Click here to try your hand at some of her expert creations! We especially love the Christmas Tree Reindeer and the Pinecone Bird-Feeder Wreath!
Now normally these things can go a bit, errr, interesting looking but this time I’m too hard on myself because, not only did we try but we succeeded! Here is our (slightly adapted) How To:
Make A Garland
Firstly, in order to actually plant Norman we had to chop off his bottom branches. We tied three of them together to create length. Next, we used an old orange from the fruit bowl that was past its juiciest, sliced it and baked it in the oven to dry it out. We hung pinecones (from Vicky’s garden) with string and covered any messy bits with orange. We then added a piece of holly, picked before Christmas, which had dried out. And last but not least – of course it wouldn’t be a Kids Gone Wild garland without a little whittling going on – our finishing touch, a lovely wee Rob-whittled star!
Whisk yourself up a new utensil
Now, as much as I don’t want to chop anymore of Norman’s bits off…Rob really wants to make a whisk, you know, for all of the baking he does! ( I won’t argue I’m genuinely excited about this) It could be a hit or a miss however – not the whisk, the whisk will obviously be great! But, cutting the top of the tree could hinder it’s natural upward growth unless the other branches near the top sprout new leaders, so we might just have to wait and see how Norman takes to our garden and go from there! Our friends over at Hipsters and Hobos have confirmed that they are planning to give this a go so we may end up with a bake-off on our hands – watch this space!
Festive Foot Soak
With all that said and done, we still have the conundrum of needles…everywhere…much like the glitter, yet I have managed to turn this real-tree-con into a pro: Mama Wild needs herself a relaxing hot foot bath, courtesy of Woman’s Day! As you can see, I added some of my own treats to the recipe such as cranberries, oranges and just a couple of drops of lavender oil (watch out when using essential oils- they are one of natures powerful sources, check out any contraindications before using-some people can also have an allergy to pine needles so be cautious)
Other Tree-ly Good Ideas for recycling
Now, if crafting isn’t really your thing and you don’t have space to plant your trees, we had some other brilliant suggestions from our friends on Facebook! One option, from Lyndsay, could help save the sand dunes and Emma takes hers to her local farm, Elchies, in Speyside! But whatever it is you’ve done this year we would love to hear from you and get some awesome new ideas for 2020!