Merry Christmas! I hope you are having a really wonderful Christmas celebration today.
There are so many things to be thankful for in our lives, and Christmas is a perfect time to count our blessings.
I don’t want to be a downer, but here comes the part of Christmas that I am not so crazy about — the undeck-the-halls time.
I love the lights, decorations, gift giving, music, caroling and time with family and friends, but the undecorating is not something that I look forward to at all.
I like to drag out Christmas as long as possible. I keep the decorations up into January.
I know that some people like to take down those decorations pretty quickly so they can get their homes back to normal. We always had to make my mom slow down on the packing so we could finish Christmas Day.
Whether you are a quick undecorator or an into-January type like me, please do not forget to recycle your live Christmas tree by participating in this year’s Bring One for the Chipper event. Live trees are a renewable resource, so you can feel good about using a live tree at Christmas as long as you remember to turn it in for recycling after the holiday.
Bring One for the Chipper is part of a statewide effort that began in 1991. The Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation spearheads the project with state corporate partners Home Depot, The Davey Tree Expert Company and WXIA-TV.
Locally, the annual event is sponsored by Keep Liberty Beautiful, the Georgia Power Company, the Georgia Forestry Commission and Brewer’s Christmas Tree Farm.
We do it for many good reasons:
• To promote awareness about the benefits of trees. Trees help clean the air and keep the air cool, so we give out tree seedlings for planting for each tree turned in for recycling.
• To raise awareness about environmental concerns and solutions. Recycling is one of the easiest ways that local residents can make a positive difference for our environment every day.
• To increase citizen involvement in solutions that help to reduce solid waste. You and I are the solution to waste reduction. Our everyday choices — what we buy, what we use and how we dispose of items — determine how much waste is accumulated. I don’t think you want to live in a trash world any more than I do.
• To support the state yard trimmings disposal ban by recycling these trees instead of putting them in landfills.
• To produce useful mulch for home and community projects for soil enhancement and erosion control. By mulching the trees that are turned in, we can offer free mulch to local residents to enhance their landscape and prevent soil erosion.
From Monday through Jan. 7, there are a variety of locations around the county where people can drop off trees.
At our new main drop-off site at the Liberty County Health Department at 1113 E. Oglethorpe Highway, we will have our annual chipping day from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 7.
This is a fun day for everyone, so please drop by and bring your tree. All participants will receive a tree seedling and Ferry-Morse vegetable seeds in exchange for each tree brought in — while our supplies last. Mulch also will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Remove all decorations from trees before dropping them off. The decorations can be a problem when trees go through the chipper.
Decorations do not make good mulch and they tear up chipper equipment, so please remember to undecorate those trees.
Those who are unable to participate Jan. 7 can deposit trees in the designated location at the health department or at any Liberty County convenience center or recycling drop-off center during normal operation hours between from Monday through Jan. 7.
Hinesville residents also can put their undecorated trees on the side of the road for OMI to pick up.
For more information, call KLB at 880-4888 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.