Christmas is over. It is time to take down the tree, dust off the ornaments and put them away and recycle what remains instead of tossing it into a landfill. Go green for the new year by recycling the Christmas tree and the unwanted tangle of old Christmas tree lights. Used Christmas trees can be recycled in a number of ways. Chop them up for firewood or use the branches for craft projects. Place the cut boughs over tender plants like a blanket to protect them from icy winter winds, Stand the old tree up outside and redecorate it for the birds. Hang strings of popcorn and bird treats from the branches. Tie a string on some pinecones, coat them in peanut butter and roll them in wild bird seed. The tree will soon host dozens of fine feathered friends. Old trees can provide habitat for fish or help prevent soil erosion in shallow wetlands. Get permission first from the landowners before dropping off a tree. Trees can also be chipped and composted. The Recycle Association of Minnesota (RAM), recycles every part of old strings of Christmas tree lights, keeping them out of landfills and providing meaningful jobs and job training for people with disabilities. In the first two years of their operation, RAM recycled 280,000 pounds of holiday lights. If those lights were all replaced with LEDs, over $200,000 in energy costs have been saved, they estimate. Minnesota is the nation’s leader in this program. Recycle old lights in the green bin across from the office at Liberty Elementary School through Feb. 1. There are plenty of ways to recycle old Christmas cards from craft projects to donating them to a charity. Many charities recycle Christmas cards and resell them to raise funds.