One man's Christmas trash is another fish's treasure.
Or, more accurately, that fish's playground.
That's right: Once the holidays are all over, the presents have been opened and forgotten, the eggnog is sour and that pine is looking less like a Christmas movie and more like a decaying forest, it's time to give that tree a whole new life.
Where, you ask? Why, underwater, of course.
Several wildlife and parks systems collect Christmas trees following the holidays, bundle them together and sink them in local lakes. The practice has been going on for decades, and was especially helpful in lakes that had been mined for materials like gravel.
Screenshot via YouTube
Underwater, the recycled pines take on a revamped existence. There, they turn into reefs.
Bottoms of lakes aren't always quite as teeming with habitation as people might imagine, so a bundle of Christmas trees can add a lot of new areas for growth.
The trees provide space for small fish to explore, hide from predators and create vibrant nesting grounds.
It's also a fresh new space for algae to grow. In turn, that helps the overall ecosystem thrive.
If you're interested in this method of disposal, give your local wildlife or parks system a call. Depending on your municipality, they could come pick it up for you or arrange for an easy drop-off.
While you may have the transportation and means to drop it off yourself, try to hand your tree over to the parks system — they're better equipped to bundle the trees to make a hospitable fish home, and they'll know where to drop it.
Plus, they attach blocks or weights to the trees to make sure they sink to the bottom and do their job.
Since trees are biodegradable, the process is totally safe. And the extra bonus? It gives your tree a chance to go from trash to treasure.