Don’t Want to Throw Away Your Christmas Tree? Let Goats Eat It!

Philly Goat Project is hosting its annual Christmas tree-cycling on January 8th and 22nd.

Instead of throwing out your Christmas tree, donate it to Philly Goat Project, whose goats will merrily chow down on the branches. / Photograph by Jerome Eno.

Now that Christmas is over and it’s officially the new year, you’re either in one of two camps: Those who like to keep their tree up until the needles are totally dead and dried out, or those who are ready to get the big ‘ol thing out of the house. Whatever your vibe, there’s no denying that it’s always a bummer to see a Christmas tree cast out on the curb — let alone unceremoniously thrown into the back of a trash truck. But turns out, there’s a better way.

If you want to keep things merry and bright even after the holidays are over — and you have a vehicle at your disposal — all you have to do is bungee-cord your Christmas tree to the top of your car and make your way to Germantown. Why, you ask? Well, local nonprofit Philly Goat Project is hosting tree-cycling on select dates, to help you bid farewell to your beloved Christmas tree in a fun and generous way. Instead of it being destroyed by a garbage truck, your tree will be eaten by the organization’s ridiculously adorable goats. (Seriously, just look at how cute they are!)

To participate, all you have to do is contribute $20 and your Christmas tree towards charity in support of the Philly Goat Project at Awbury Arboretum. Your tree will be eaten by the goats and/or turned into wood chips that help line the trails around the arboretum, the goats’ paddocks, or in parks around the city! Your dollars go towards the Philly Goat Project’s mission of using “goats for the greater good” and providing free programming to the Philly community throughout the year, including goat walks, readings with the goats at local libraries, and the Ramble — their monthly inclusive, sensory-friendly space for folks with disabilities and their friends and family.

Just look at how happy they are! / Photograph by Jerome Eno.

The tree-cycling will take place at the Farm at the Awbury Agricultural Village (6336 Ardleigh Street) on Saturday, January 8th and Saturday, January 22nd. From 12 to 3 p.m., donate $20 and your undecorated tree — no tinsel, ornaments, or lights — and enjoy watching the goats chow down. You can either park (on Washington Lane) and walk your tree into the farm, do a “G.O.A.T. Safari” drive-through drop-off, or opt for express curbside (farmside?) delivery. No reservations needed this year, btw!

Don’t have a tree, but still want in on the fun? That’s cool, too. Swing by to enjoy the farm, pet the goats, and sip hot chocolate by one of the on-site fire pits — all at no cost!

In case of inclement weather, tree-cycling rain dates are January 9th and January 23rd. Check Philly Goat Project’s website or Instagram for updates.

This story was originally published on December 26, 2019, with additional reporting by Gina Tomaine.