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Christmas Tree Disposal!

Happy Week-between-christmas-and-new-year when it’s still acceptable to wear pyjamas all day, eat leftovers for breakfast and have a baileys at 3pm.

We should have been running 8 days of Festive Alpaca Experiences from December 27th – January 4th but sadly our entry into tier 4 on Boxing Day has put that on hold. I’m gutted, but the numbers are worryingly high again and safety has to come first.

Our Facebook post offering a Xmas Tree Disposal Service – courtesy of our alpacas who love them almost as much as Santa loves a mince pie – blew up and received a whopping 400 shares which led to an absolute deluge of messages! Everyone wants to have the alpacas eat their tree and I can see why, it gets rid of it (for free!), you don’t have to chop it up or take it to the tip AND you’ll get to see cute videos of their little munching faces on your social media feed – win!

However, I can’t accept any more now. We’re going to have Christmas trees coming out of our ears and they’ll keep the alpacas going for months! A huge thank you to everyone who has messaged, I will try and get to everyone I’ve said I will collect from but I can’t accept any new contacts, as much as I really appreciate the offers (and so do the alpacas!).

So I set to thinking what ELSE you could do with a real Christmas tree? I’ve compiled some ideas here for you:

1. Bugs! Decaying trees are wonderful habitats for all sorts of natural species, if you have space to keep your tree and let it rot away by itself, you’ll be providing a veritable city for bugs and beasties and the planet will thank you for that! To stop it getting messy you could stuff it into a gap in a hedge or cut it up and put the pieces under a hedge in little piles, use the trunk as an edging tool or plant support for climbing plants, or incorporate it into a bug corner/bug hotel.

2. Birds! Put your tree in a pot filled with soil/stones (yes, even if it has no roots) and stand it out on the lawn, with bird food hanging from the branches instead of baubles! It will provide food and shelter to birds, even when the green needles are all gone. Find a recipe for making your own fat balls here, maybe it could be your first topic if you’re back to home educating in January?!

3. Plant or re use. If your tree has roots (and it’s a bit late now if I doesn’t, but maybe consider it for next time?) you can plant it outside, or if you’d like to bring it in again next year then plant it in a big pot (so it has room to grow) as this is better than digging it up and disrupting it. This is great because you only have to buy a tree once and it’ll last for years!

4. Compost. Cut your tree up and put it in your compost bin! It may seem like a lot of stuff, but they do decompose pretty quickly and make wonderful compost!

5. Burn. It’s not ideal, but Christmas trees burn easily due to the high oil content. Put your tree outside and once it’s dried out you can cut it up and feed it into a garden incinerator, or put it on a bonfire. Be careful with fire and only do this if you legally can and it is safe to do so!

6. Donate. Contact animal sanctuaries, farms, zoos and similar to see if they’d like your tree for their animals. Many aren’t able to collect, but if you can wrap your tree in an old sheet or similar you may be able to get it in your car without needles going everywhere.

7. Pay to dispose of it properly. Please don’t just fly tip your tree! If you don’t want to keep it in the garden or chop it up for your garden bin or compost bin the best methods of getting rid of your tree involve taking it to your local council recycling centre (call ahead to check opening times and if they can take it!) for which you may need to chop it up, take it yourself and pay a small fee. Another option may be calling local tree surgeons or similar people who have a green waste licence, as they may be able to take it to a large-scale composting site on your behalf but expect to pay – they have to pay for their fuel, licence and for every kilo of weight they drop off at the composting sites, and there’s their time to consider too.

However you dispose of your real tree, please consider having one again! They’re better for the environment than you might think! Try and get a local one, and consider getting one with roots which you can reuse.

Happy New Year everyone, hope it’s a good one!

Beckie x

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