What to do with a Christmas tree after Christmas? A quick Q&A with 3 experts from CFAES

Sales of real Christmas trees “are booming as pandemic-weary Americans seek solace,” said a recent headline in the New York Times.

That’s good news for Christmas tree growers, like these in Ohio. But in the interest of recycling and reducing solid waste, what are some good green options to do with a Christmas tree after Christmas?

Here are suggestions from three CFAES experts.

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So you’ve got an old pumpkin to get rid of …

Pumpkins rotting in landfills produce methane, a climate change-causing greenhouse gas, and an especially scary one at that—it’s 20 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

So, if you don’t send your old pumpkin out in the trash, destined for burial in a landfill, what’s the best thing you can do with it?

We talked to three experts from CFAES for options. Spoiler alert: Sometimes (dun dun dun) they come back.

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‘This is what our world has to start doing’

As a sustainability intern with Ohio State’s Zero Waste team, CFAES student Melina Mallory, pictured below, spent most of every football game day this season helping divert the tons of waste generated at Ohio Stadium—the beverage cans, nacho trays, and more from 105,000 people—away from landfills and into composting or recycling.

How did she and the team do? Here’s a hint: The football Buckeyes aren’t the only ones ranked No. 1 in the country.

In a recent Ohio State story, Los Angeles native Mallory, an environmental science major specializing in water science in CFAES’ School of Environment and Natural Resources, said, “To be at Ohio State where you have a platform to show people this is what our world has to start doing, and we are doing it, is pretty cool.”

Read the full story. (Photo: Ohio State News.)

See 4 unique ways NE Ohio is composting

This year’s Composting in Ohio tour, set for Aug. 22 and co-sponsored by CFAES’ Ohio Composting and Manure Management Program (OCAMM), will feature four unique large-scale composting facilities located in Cleveland and Akron.

Tour-goers, organizers say, will get a close look at the sites’ operations and a chance to learn from experts.

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Compost operator course coming soon

CFAES’ 2019 Ohio Compost Operator Education Course, planned for anyone involved with commercial and large-scale composting, is coming soon, set for March 27–28 on CFAES’ Wooster campus. Some of the many topics to be covered: principles, biology, testing, marketing, and site design and management.

Registration is $275 for the first participant from an organization or company; $225 for each additional participant from the same organization or company; and includes materials, continental breakfast, and lunch.

For a list of all the topics, location and other details, and a registration form, download the flyer for the course.

Preventing plastic pollution at Put-in-Bay

Jill Bartolotta of the Ohio State-based Ohio Sea Grant program and Sue Bixler of CFAES’s Stone Laboratory have received a nearly $50,000 grant to educate visitors to South Bass Island about plastic trash — how it hurts water quality and wildlife and how to prevent it.

South Bass Island, located in western Lake Erie and home of the tourist town of Put-in-Bay, annually sees more than 800,000 visitors.

Read the full story about the grant.