It is now time to bid Christmas 2012 a permanent farewell and say hello to 2013 fully as today everything gets back to normality. Whilst the Christmas lights and decorations can be taken down to be stored for next year, for the natural fir Christmas tree it is however the end of the line. However in Ireland at least the past few days and upcoming days offered a plethora of ways to bid the “crann nollaig”, Christmas tree, a fond farewell.
On Saturday the 5th, the citizens of Ennis in Clare came up with a novel way of disposing of the Christmas trees in style. Its second running of the annual Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship, mirroring similar competitions in Austria and Germany, took place at Lees Road Sports Amenity Park, Ennis, Co Clare on Saturday. The aim of the contest was to find out which participant, on three attempts, could throw their standard 1.5m trees the farthest. All eyes were on whether last years winning margin of 7m could be repeated or bettered, or if the world record for this event 12m set in Germany in 2010 could be broken.
Whether records were broken or not, it was a fun event helping to raise money for the Clare branch of the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland with the council welcoming donations to charity from anyone who wished to drop their tree at the contest.
Whilst the competition was a fun and novel way of disposing of the tree, nationwide there still remains a number of worthy options left. In places around Ireland in the month of January there are depots for locals to drop their trees where they will be recycled and reused by the local councils, the trees will be shredded and transformed into compost to fertilise the parks and green areas in local areas nationwide.
Whilst in the Cork-Kerry border, this year, used trees can be used to help the environment in another important way. Here local scientist Fran Igoe has asked people to bring their used trees to the James O’Keeffe Centre in Newmarket, Co Cork, where the deposited trees will be used to help shore up the banks of the upper Blackwater river, an important area of conservation that has been rapidly eroding.
Whether they are used for a contest in aid of good fun and charity in Clare, deposited to be turned to compost for our parks nationwide or used to aid an important environmental and conversation project in the Cork Kerry Border, trees once used for decoration will live on in helpful and charitable ways, allowing us to say farewell to the season of goodwill on a suitable note.