Recycle your Christmas tree

Every year the holidays bring the same debate: Is it more eco-friendly to use a live fresh-cut evergreen or a reusable faux tree?

And the answer is that the most eco-friendly yuletide solution is to decorate a potted live tree, which is planted after the holidays.
The next choice would be to buy a live Christmas tree, and have it mulched after the holidays.
Pine and fir tree mulch is commonly used in civic garden areas or even as fuel. In recent years, people have come up with a variety of creative ways to reuse even whole discarded Christmas trees, according to the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA).

Thirsty front lawn? Get smart about conserving water outdoors

You may have to outsmart your smart controller to keep lawn watering in check (Photo: Viorel Railean, dreamstime)

You may have to outsmart your smart controller to keep lawn watering in check (Photo: Viorel Railean, dreamstime)

Using less water at home is a snap indoors if you have the cash. Just install modern low-flow toilets, a state-of-the-art washing machine and dishwasher and a conserving water heater. Outdoors, where 50 to 75 percent of residential water is consumed, the solution is trickier. Most people over-water their yards, but watering less may not be enough.