How To: Recycle Our Christmas Tree?

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This Christmas we were inspired to do something useful with our Christmas tree - something we'd never done before as it has always been put on the curbside or, sometimes, brought to the local Christmas tree donation drop-off for chipping (which is pretty good). But we wanted to see if we could do something MORE creative, crafty even, so we embarked on the following odyssey....

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After pulling the very beautiful tree out of our families' house on Long Island, we took out our handy machete and started disassembling it. The idea was to break it down into pieces that we could use in some way. The best idea we had was to collect all the needles and make a few small evergreen pillows.

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Taking the tree apart was satisfying.

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We got it into three basic parts: the trunk, the branches and the tips of the branches where all the needles are.

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The trunk we chopped up and decided to use for firewood.

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The branches we used for kindling and it worked really, really well.

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But now we have a tub full of all these beautiful needles that won't fall off or come off of the branch tips and we're wondering what to do. Does anyone have a good idea for either a. how you get needles off easily or b. what we could do with all of them after wards (besides pillows)?

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Maxwell left teaching in 2001 to start Apartment Therapy as a design business helping people to make their homes more beautiful, organized AND healthy. The website started up in 2004 with the help of his brother, Oliver.