“The best Christmas trees come very close to exceeding nature,” Andy Rooney once said. Many of us agree, as Americans purchase 25-30 million live Christmas trees a year. Post-holidays, keep the spirit of giving alive with one of these six recycling options.

1. Prepare it for your curbside Christmas tree recycling program. Many trash/recycling providers pick up Christmas trees to be turned into mulch. Contact your provider to learn about pickup times.

2. Drop if off at a tree recycling center, which will turn the tree into mulch. Many cities and counties offer free drop-off, explains the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA), so check with your local government.

3. Compost it. You can saw it up if your trash/recycling provider offers a separate bin for yard/food waste. Another option: Use it in your own garden. The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) says: Run it through a wood chipper, and then use the chips to cover your garden bed and enrich your garden’s soil.

4. Contact the Boy Scouts. Many troops offer a pickup service for a small donation (such as $5), explains the NCTA.

5. Create a brush pile in your yard. Use the tree as the base, then add eight 6- to 8-foot untrimmed branches in a diagonal teepee fashion, advises the Humane Society, keeping the brush pile away from your house and other structures. This provides food and shelter to reptiles and amphibians, chipmunks, rabbits, squirrels and other local wildlife.

6. Donate it to a nature restoration project. In Louisiana, the LSU Agricultural Center uses recycled Christmas trees to fortify wetlands; the trees trap sediment, allowing plants to take root and protect the remaining soil from washing away. Other organizations, like Tualatin Valley Trout Unlimited in Portland, Oregon, use recycled Christmas trees to protect fish habitat. Doing some research can reveal whether any local non-profits need trees for these types of projects.

Oh, and take heart that our Christmas tree habit can be “green.” Tree farms plant one to three seedlings for every Christmas tree used, according to the NCTA. Plus, the estimated 350,000 U.S. acres growing Christmas trees preserve green space. Just be sure to recycle your tree when you take down the holiday decorations.