The holidays are over, have you made your New Year’s resolutions? The start of a new year is the perfect time to think about easy ways to green your home and start new traditions.
In 2014, I resolve to… Change the world, one room at a time… to decrease my footprint and increase my imprint… Continue reading
It’s a new year, time for new beginnings and new habits. For many, a common New Year’s resolution is to make greener choices. Some things are easy—like recycling, switching to reusable bags and things like that. Other things take some thought. They’re not hard, not really, but they require being a more conscious consumer. That’s what this post is all about—taking the time to evaluate your choices before you open your wallet. Continue reading
Are you ready to toast the New Year? Whether you’re hosting a party, or going out on the town, keep your celebrations smart, sustainable and safe this holiday! We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite party essentials, and they’re not just for New Year’s Eve. These sparkling items will see you through an entire year of entertaining.
Pour on the cheer
A champagne toast is almost a requirement for a New Year’s celebration. Tuck your bottle of bubbly into a vintage ice bucket to keep it chilled and ready to serve, then pour into handblown flutes. Champagne not your thing? How about a cocktail? Shaken, not stirred.
You’ve decked the halls and trimmed the tree, and now the holidays are almost over. After New Year’s Eve, your house returns to normal. All the lights and beads and baubles get put away until next year. But if you used a real tree, that’s one part of your holiday décor you can’t store and reuse next year. What can you do with a big pile of slowly drying pine?
- Local recycling or compost
Many communities offer curbside pickup of trees to be turned into compost, mulch or other garden goodness. Check with your local municipality.
- Fire starters
If you’ve got a fireplace or firepit, your tree represents terrific firestarters. The small branches and needles make great kindling. Cut larger pieces into manageable sizes and let dry thoroughly. Just be aware that a sappy pine can add to creosote buildup.
- The bonfire of the Christmas trees
Many communities host a bonfire to combine disposing of the trees with a community social event. If yours doesn’t, check into local campgrounds and beaches for those that allow a bonfire.
Dried out needles make great mulch. Rent or borrow a woodchipper for the rest of the tree, and you’ve got a season’s worth of terrific mulch for your garden.
- Path edgers or trim
Mulch or compost the smaller pieces, then cut the trunk into rounds and use to edge a patch, or outline a garden area. Larger branches can be used to create rustic edging for planting beds.
- Stake it
Use the larger branches to create stakes for your plants, and position the trunk (with a few branches still on it) so a vining plant can climb all over it. With a little creativity, you can create a rustic trellis.
- Submerge as a fish habitat
If you’ve got a pond handy, a submerged tree makes a great habitat for fish. It will slowly decompose over the course of the year, just another part of the circle of life.
- Bird buffet
Trim off the needles and small branches (mulch), then drill holes in the trunk and fill them with suet, seed, etc. Hang treats in the remaining branches and you’ve just created a perfect bird sanctuary and buffet. Happy bird watching!
- Dune restoration
Some communities are using old trees as a way to help rebuild and restore sand dunes. Check with your local municipality to find out what services are available in your area.