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How to repurpose a Christmas tree


Words by Kelsey Lee Jones

So you’re finished with it. Glittering tinsel, fairy lights and miscellaneous baubles are all packed away in their boxes, and needles through the house have been swept away. Now what? Here are some ideas for extending the life of a Christmas tree.

Turn it into sparkly champagne and cocktail syrup

Yes, that’s right. Start the celebrations all over again. An incredible idea that comes from botanical sommelier Maidie van den Bos – founder of Bloesembar and part of our Incubation Programme this year. She’s just started a project in collaboration with the Gemeente Rotterdam, her task: to give a second life to the city’s 45-year-old pine tree. She’ll use its needles and work her magic to make different types of delicious drinks: lemonades, champagnes, non-alcoholic bubbles and cocktails, all of which should be fermented and ready to taste in April. Follow Bloesembar to stay up-to-date with the process.

Quite a dawning but awesome project; we have goal here: Give the @gemeenterotterdam Christmastree a second life, shaped as drinks and other products! About a 1000 litres of syrup, 500 bottles of fir champagne and 500 bottles of non-alcoholic fermentation, but also use the branches for smoking chips and the trunk to create coasters and giftcards. It’s an amazing 45 year old species of fir Picea Abies. Met @precillaschrier . . . . #bloesembar #botanicaldrinks #botanicalsommelier #zerowaste #christmastree #firchampagne #needlework #fermentation #scalingup #rotterdam #makeithappen #boomtotbubbels #perfume #perfumeddrinks #kerstboom #circulaireeconomie #circular #secondlife #closedloop #fir #fijnspar #piceaabies #innovativefood #entrepreneurship #inspiredbynature

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Make some pine needle tea

Pine needles are a great source of vitamin C and can make for some delicious tea, all you really need is to grab a bunch of needles, cut them finely, then throw them in some boiling water. Let it all boil for a couple minutes; the water will soon turn into a light yellow colour. Viola! You’ve made tea from your tree.

Don’t throw it, replant it

When you choose your next tree, remember to opt for the rooted kind. You can then treat it like any other living plant in your home while it’s decked out – that means watering it! When you’re done you have the option to replant your tree in your garden or in a pot on your balcony. Or similarly look for initiatives in your city that help with adopting trees and replanting spaces. And remember you can always pick alternatives to the traditional fire tree – such as the Norfolk Island pine – that will look great in your house all year round.

Christmas tree out, houseplant in

Don’t forget that old saying. When the tree does leave your house, why leave a sad and empty space where it once stood? Fill it with a nice big replacement and start your year off happily and green.


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