A GIFT FOR THE PLANET
Christmas is the day after tomorrow and before we get all sweet and emotional I’m going to tell you STOP!
When the gifts have been opened and the food is eaten up you’re faced with the massive clean.
It’s so easy to just chuck everything in bags for the bin. But STOP!
Did you know Australia is one of the highest waste producers in the world on a per person basis?
We produce more than 18 million tonnes of rubbish each year – that’s enough to fill three million garbage trucks full of compacted rubbish.
Australians use enough plastic bags each year that if they were tied together they would stretch around the world 24 times.
Christmas cards, bags, boxes, paper and even those plastic bags can be re-used – saving you money and saving the planet, sagging under the weights of billions of tonnes of rubbish.
IT’S A SIN TO BIN BEFORE CHECKING THE PINS
Pinterest is loaded with great ideas to recycle and re-use but to save you time and get you started I’ve listed a few ideas, and links, here.
- Cut off the front of the card and glue onto cardboard to make a brand new card. My mother has been doing this for years. She often adds little embellishments to make the cards thoughtful and individual. She is so well known for her recycling efforts that friends no longer write on the back of the card picture and often even leave the envelope blank so she can re-use that too. It has never been about saving money for her, just about the planet.
- Cut out the best part of the picture and punch a hole in the top – great as decorations or gift tags
- For a really sweet little vintage card decoration project visit Petticoat Junktion
- Cut the front of the card off and roll it into a cone and staple together. Cut angel wings out of another card and attach with staples or glue. Add a foam ball on top for the head, OR cut a face picture out of another card and attach it to the top of your angel.
These are a no-brainer. Treat them nicely and you can use them as gift bags next year, saving you money. If anyone scoffs at this they don’t deserve a gift as there is absolutely nothing wrong with reusing pretty gift bags.
- Obviously, the beautiful gift boxes can be kept to re-give next year
- Other boxes that contain gifts, such as electronic gifts, ornaments, shoes etc can be covered in the paper you’ve saved to make unique gift boxes OR
- Spray paint them and add beads and jewels to make a treasure box or friendship box OR
- Cover them in material and decorate as a lovely jewellery box OR
- Cut out doors and windows to make a playhouse –check out my Halloween House to Make post for inspiration.
It’s not always easy to keep gift paper from being torn and wrinkled but any nice pieces, even small, should be saved.
- Use it to make cards for next year.
- Use it to make pretty angels – check out my 3 Angels That Are Super Sweet, Easy and Cheap to Make project and substitute the gold paper for Christmas paper.
- Make tree ornaments. Cut triangles out of cardboard and glue the Christmas paper to them. Punch a hole in the top, add some ribbon, and you have a lovely tree ornament.
- String a bunch of them together for a garland.
- Cover just one side and use the other to write a message – instant gift tags.
- Make a sweet little tree picture with mini rolls of paper
- Glue it onto boxes – all shapes and sizes – to make beautiful gift boxes.
- Cover clean food cans in the paper (see Save With 8 Awesome Kid Art to Great Gifts Projects for instructions)
- Make a beautiful collage from the small pieces, laminate and have special Christmas placemats for next year.
There are many crafts you can make with plastic bags. Lucky Ladybird Craft has a wonderful and easy project to make a sweet basket.
Instructables has a great how-to for making a plastic rug – it looks really cute and would be good in a garage, man cave or playroom.
You can find the most adorable pom pom lights at matsutakeblog
How about something for the kids – try this project to make a skipping rope at PBS Parents.
With all these great ideas and easy access to so much more, why not give our planet the gift of not giving this year and re-use what you can?
Now it’s time to get all sweet and emotional.
I really hope your Christmas day is beautiful – regardless of the weather, who you spend it with, how you choose to enjoy it, I wish you lots of happiness.
Happy recycling and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.