Posts Tagged ‘mulch’

Christmas Got Your Goat?

This year it’s the other way around!  The goats “got my Christmas tree”!  A friend of mine posted on FaceBook that his goats would love old Christmas trees (They eat any kind of coniferous tree – fir, hemlock, cedar).  So we loaded up our tree, drove to his farm and fed it to his goats!

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My husband hoisting the tree into the goats’ pen!

 

The hungry goats!

The hungry goats munching on the tree!

The goats were in heaven and we could hardly get the tree over the fence into their pen fast enough!

Everybody is happy!

Everybody is happy!

The goats feasted on a delicious Christmas treat and we felt great about “recycling” our tree in a most unusual way!

If you don’t have access to any goats, what else can you do with your old Christmas tree? Care2.com has some good suggestions:

  • The whole Christmas tree placed in the backyard makes an excellent bird feeder.  You can add suet, cranberry and popcorn strings, stale bread,etc. for tasty treats for the birds.
  • Use cut off  branches to edge a garden or place whole evergreen boughs on perennial beds to protect them from winter freezes and spring thaws.  The trunk makes a perfect resting spot for birds, squirrels and other little critters.
  • Check with your town about its tree recycling program for use as mulch in community parks and gardens.
  • Saw the trunk into logs and burn them in your fireplace.

Feeding our tree to goats just might be our new Christmas tradition.  How about you?

 

Happy New Year and cheers to a healthy, happy, peaceful and GREENER 2017!

 

For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.

Some information compiled from http://www.care2.com/greenliving/ways-to-recycle-christmas-trees.html.

Eco-Friendly Approach to Fall Clean Up

There is nothing more beautiful than fall foliage, but what do you do with the fallen leaves?  According to the EPA, yard waste is the second-largest component of our trash stream (behind paper and corrugated boxes) and makes up roughly 20 percent of most communities’ haul. Additionally, trucking the bulky bags to the dump requires a lot of fuel.

Americans can be obsessive about fallen leaves on the lawn.  Below are some eco-friendly approaches to dealing with them.

Image by dasmant Flickr.com

Fallen Leaves Are Food

Dead leaves are actually Mother Nature’s food, rich in minerals, falling right where they are needed.  With a good mulching mower you can leave a large number of leaves on the lawn to add nutrition, but don’t leave so much that they smother the lawn and cause snow mold.

Fallen Leaves Make Super Compost

Fallen leaves can be composted into nutrient-rich soil for your spring garden. The leaves of one large shade tree can be worth as much as $50 of plant food and humus, according to CompostGuide.com. Leaves are a great soil conditioner and can also be added to your perennial beds for nutrients and as protective mulch.

If you prefer to get rid of them, check and see if your community has garden waste recycling programs, or offer them to neighbors, garden clubs or local farmers for composting.  Most town transfer stations take leaves for composting too.

Rakes Are Greener Than Leaf Blowers

When gathering your leaves, rakes are more effective, cheaper and certainly “greener” than a leaf blower!  And – raking is great exercise!  When using a leaf blower, try a quiet, energy-efficient electric one.

Use Biodegradable Bags For Leaf Bagging

If you do bag your leaves, use biodegradable ones. Green Genius makes bags that are the same strength and price of regular trash bags, but biodegrade within 1 to 15 years.  You can purchase them at Whole Foods or Hannafords.

Fallen leaves are part of nature’s perfect system, so please don’t interfere and throw them away.

One of my readers commented that she uses barrels for her raked leaves that then get emptied into the recycle trucks which comes every week for six weeks. No bags at all!  That’s the way to go if you don’t want to use the leaves.  I love the idea of recycle trucks for leaves – towns have come a long way!

For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.