As you take down the lights and the stockings, pack away the ornaments, and deflate the blowup Santa, there's just one thing left to contend with: What to do with the tree?
If you own an artificial tree, it's a no-brainer. Box it up to reuse next year. But if you purchased a real tree, like 27 million homes in the US did last year, here's how to dispose of it in an environmentally friendly fashion.
Many municipalities have some sort of recycling program, which will turn the tree to mulch. Since they're biodegradable, you can just leave it outside where it will return to nature, but check your town's regulations.
Whatever you do, don't burn it. Christmas trees contain flammable oils which can increase the risk of causing a chimney fire.