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5 Ways to Upcycle Your Christmas Tree (And Why You Should ASAP)

Photo credit: Getty Images/Baloncici

Photo credit: Getty Images/Baloncici

Do you find yourself constantly wheezing this time of year? You could be suffering from “Christmas tree syndrome,” according to research from SUNY University.

Researchers found pine trees carry microscopic mold spores that irritate allergy symptoms. What’s more, the study notes that many people experience allergic reactions like an itchy nose, watery eyes, coughing, wheezing or insomnia within the first two weeks of putting up their Christmas tree.

But you don’t need to ditch your favorite holiday tradition completely. The ACTA has a couple of ideas to help manage allergies:

  • Spray your tree with water and let it dry outside before bringing it into the house — this will help curb any allergic reactions.
  • Enjoy your tree during the holidays, but take it down as soon as possible once Christmas is over.

If the thought of taking down your Christmas tree on December 26 gives you the winter blues, start a new holiday tradition with these festive ways to upcycle your tree.

Create a backyard paradise

Welcome the “new bird” with an awesome place to stay while he’s in town for the winter. Moving your tree (stand included) outside makes for the perfect place birds can seek refuge from winter weather. Replace your bulbs and lights with orange slices and strung popcorn to make your tree double as a festive bird feeder.

Brew nostalgic potpourri

Sometimes all it takes is the smell of fresh pine and cinnamon to bring back memories of Christmas’ past. Rekindle your favorite ones by simmering a few leftover branches from your tree with oil and cinnamon sticks.

Craft a welcoming wreath

Allergies might keep your tree from being a staple in the living room for long, but all it takes is a few branches and wire to build a wreath to carry on the spirit of the season on your front door. For inspiration, this guide will help you get started.

Donate back to nature

The demand for pine trees might end December 26 for most of us, but not for wildlife preserves. Dozens of animals use pine trees as nesting areas — especially certain birds’ native to Pennsylvania and Maryland. Plus, other wildlife projects use trees to provide fish habitats, help restore dunes or prevent wetland loss.

Sip a cup of pine tree tea

Keep the holiday hype going well into colder months with a cup of “tree tea.” Pine needles are rich in Vitamins A and C, perfect for warding off a winter cold. Plus, brewing is simple: Chop, boil, steep and enjoy!

For more information on how Independence Blue Cross is there to help you stay healthy this holiday season click here.