If you’re reading this while Christmas tree needles sprinkle your living room floor, the New York City Department of Sanitation is giving you one final holiday nudge to clean up your home and help our environment. Chipping Weekend, part of MulchFest, is happening throughout the entire city, and there are two locations on the Upper West Side where you can take your beloved holiday tree and transform it into mulch!
NYC Parks’ Mulchfest has been running since December 26, but this Saturday and Sunday is Chipping Weekend – which means you can “bring your tree to a chipping site … to take home a tree-mento! [They will] chip your tree and give you your very own bag of mulch to use in your backyard or to make a winter bed for a street tree.” Mulch is composed of broken down chips of tree limbs and branches and helps “conserve soil moisture and moderate soil temperature” according to NYC Parks website. Last year, over 29,000 trees were recycled, helping our concrete jungle grow just a little bit greener.
Although we may hear debates about whether real Christmas trees are bad for the environment and add to deforestation, the argument is not true. Christmas trees are less like trees in a forest and more like crops on a farm. Each takes about a decade to reach 6 feet and during that time it can absorb more than a ton of CO2. Often grown on difficult-to-farm terrain, when cut down they are typically replaced by two or three seedlings. Plastic trees, often made from PVC and shipped from China, neither benefit the environment nor biodegrade. They also won’t get you a pass into Chipping Weekend!
It’s a new year but an old planet and a good deed for the environment might not be such a bad way to kick off 2022.
Chipping weekend takes place Saturday, January 8 and Sunday, January 9 from 10am-2pm. To properly send off your Charlie Brown tree, head over to Riverside Drive and 83rd Street or Central Park and 81st Street (just east of Central Park West). To learn more and to find additional locations, visit nycgovparks.org/highlights/festivals/mulchfest.