Holiday Sweaters!

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, it’s definitely time to start planning for holiday festivities! A great way to get together with family and friends is to throw a tacky Christmas sweater party!

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Most thrift stores in your town should have a “seasonal” section that will be full of fun holiday outfits.

For a tacky Christmas party, ask all of your guests to look at these stores (Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc) and find the craziest Christmas sweater they can find. At your party, people can compare their sweaters, make new acquaintances, and have a great night.

This is a great way to recycle old sweaters and help your loved ones become more aware about their local thrift stores (and to celebrate for the holidays, of course)

So start planning your party!

An extra tip: If you are throwing the party for younger children, they would most likely enjoy doing a craft. We’ve posted a few ideas for ornaments already. Check them out!

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We Wish You a Recycled Christmas

Here are some cool ideas I’ve found online for recycled Christmas ornaments, most of which would be very easy to do with kids

Hammer designs into old can lids and add a bottle cap with inspiration for a warm, homey feeling

Paint and glitter your old silverware for a cute vintage touch

Use some of the fallen branches in your yard to create mini-trees to put on your big tree for a natural touch

Cut shapes out of used CDs and string them for some recycled bling

Use comic strips, newspaper, or magazines to create these one of a kind ornaments for your tree

Decorate any Christmas cut-out with used zippers

Recycled Map Ornament

Materials Needed:

*old book of maps (sheet music, an old novel, or an art sketch could all work here as well)

*cardboard, the more design the better

*glue, string, and any other decorations you would like to add

Next, you will want to cut a shape out of the cardboard.  I chose a star:

After you have the base shape of your ornament, cut out a slightly smaller version of the same shape in your map, book, sketch, or sheet music.  Whichever you choose.  Glue the second piece down.  Punch a hole in the top to add your string to hang the ornament from and add any other decorations you would like.  I chose a bit of simple ribbon and a button.  There you have it!  An extremely simple, yet beautiful ornament in under 10 minutes.

Recycled Vases

From a clean Starbucks Frappacino glass bottle, start out by writing words or creating a design on the glass with hot glue.  Once you have your design, paint the vase.

Ribbon, bows, and flowers can be added to create this beautiful vase decoration

Recycled Gingerbread-Man Ornament

This is a cute little gingerbread-man ornament that is made out of a cut out of a poptarts box.

Once you have the cut-out, all you have to do is paint it, draw on it, collage it, anything that you want to do to decorate it.  Then punch a hole and you have an ornament.  This is a very simple craft to do with young children.

Shape Printables:

Consumerism

Consumerism in the United States has gotten way out of hand.  We have started to care more about our personal wants; rather than our global community.  Here are some quick facts and photos that may change your mind before you go out and buy something that you don’t need:

*In one year alone more money was spent on make-up than gaining reproductive health-care for women, on perfume than gaining world literacy, on ocean cruises than clean drinking water for the world, and on ice cream in Europe rather than immunization from deadly diseases for children

*the top 7 boycotted businesses in 2005 were Nike, Coke, McDonalds, Nestle, Adidas, Gap, and Burger King because of their impact on the environment

*Heinz ketchup eaten in California is made from Californian tomatoes shipped to Canada for processing just to be returned to California in bottles.  

*In one year, the port of New York City $431,000 of Californian almonds to Italy and imported $397,000 of Italian almonds to the US.

*In 2004, the UK imported 17,200 tonnes of chocolate-covered wafers and exported 17,600; imported 43,993 tonnes of potatoes whilst exporting 85,652; and imported 25,720 tonnes of milk and cream, only to export 27,125 at the same time.

It’s time for us as a society to start thinking about where our food comes from, where our clothing comes from, and where our energy sources come from.  However, it is also very important to know where everything goes once you throw it out.  A few very important decisions to make before buying ANYTHING are: ‘Do I need this?’  ‘Can I live without it?’ ‘Can I reuse something at home to serve the same purpose?’ and finally ‘Can I make this for myself?’  If you answered no to the first item, and yes to the rest, do NOT buy the item.  Instead, think of what you could be doing for the world. 

National Geographic photographers do an amazing job at showing us how beautiful the world can be.  But what if we could see this beauty any time, not just in photos?

Nature is beautiful, and we need to protect it however we can.  Always think before you act.  More than what you know has an affect on the environment.