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.

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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.

Lightbulb Crafts

If you are anything like my family, we have lightbulbs of all shapes, sizes, and colors burning out all at once.  Right now!  Here are some ideas of painting and decorating these lightbulbs for the upcoming holidays.  They will give you some holiday cheer AND you will be keeping lightbulbs out of the dump.

FACTS about light bulbs:

Even though you can get ‘low mercury’ light bulbs, they still have 3.5 mg of mercury in them each!  When this mercury gets into the dump and it rains, the mercury has a potential to get into our water.  When mercury gets into the environment, it poses great threats to both humans and animals.   Keep the light bulbs out of the dump!

 

Green Tip of the Week #3

Pack Waste Free Lunches:

1. Use a reusabe water bottle instead of a plastic bottle

*U.S. citizens discard more than 2.5 million plastic bottles EVERY HOUR

2. Do not use anything made from aluminum or tin cans

*In the time it takes you to read this sentence, more than 50,000 tin cans were made

3. Use a lunch box and a washable napkin rather than paper bags and paper napkins

*It is estimated that 17 trees are cut down for every ton of non-recycled paper

4. Make your morning coffee at home rather than buying it at a fast food place in styrofoam

*U.S. citizens throw away 25 billion styrofoam cups EVERY YEAR

If you are interested in more facts like this, visit PLANET FORWARD, Committed To Living a Sustainable Lifestyle

Green Tip of the Week #2

Here are some Green Tips for hotel stays for the upcoming holidays:

#1  Reuse your towels- if you’re staying for more than one night, reuse your towel.  They don’t need to go through the wash every day to get you dry

#2  Conserve extra water- just because you’re not paying for the water when you take a shower doesn’t mean the environment isn’t paying

#3  Take the stairs-save the electricity of running the elevator

#4  Bring your own food- instead of eating fast food or getting vending machine food with all of the extra wrappings, bring your own food.  There is a refridgerator and microwave in the room for a reason

#5  Don’t have the bedding changed every night-the bedding from one hotel room can take up an entire washing machine by itself.  Save the water and electricity

#6  Bring a reusable mug-the styrofoam cups in the room are not only individually wrapped in plastic, but styrofoam also takes up to 2 million years to fully decompose.  Use a little bit of water and wash your own mug instead

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