Upcycled Crafting – 5 Things You Should Never Throw Away

Upcycled Crafting

5 Things You Should Never Throw Away When it comes to crafting with kids you can find a lot of fun resources in the trash.  I wish I could say that I don't generate any trash at all but it's the real world and we do make trash.  Here are some of our favorite upcycled crafting items: Toilet paper and paper towel rolls.  These cardboard tubes can be so much fun to craft with.  There are hundreds of uses for them like wall art, puppets, rockets, and more. Milk jugs.  Plastic milk jugs can be used in the garden or you can cut it up to create a mini-wallet. Magazines.  Cut them up and roll them to make beads, bracelets, or picture frames. T-shirts.  The possibilities with t-shirts are endless especially if you are handy with a sewing machine.  Make scarves, headbands, bracelets, or produce bags with just a few simple steps. Newspaper.  Use the newspaper to protect your table from toddler painting, use it as gift wrap, or roll it to make fancy flowers you can use in frames and ... [ Read More ]

TerraCycle’s Garbage Moguls Returns Saturday 8/21/10 to National Geographic

In honor of Trash to Treasure Thursday, this week I'm super excited to bring you the latest and greatest news from TERRACYCLE!  In April, TerraCycle debuted Garbage Moguls on the National Geograpic Channel - a series of television shows that documented the zany antics of the TerraCycle crew as they develop new products from our garbage. This Saturday, National Geographic will be airing the pilot along with three brand new episodes!  Set your DVR's - plan a night in with friends - but don't forget to watch Garbage Moguls this Saturday night.  The fun begins at 7pm ET as they replay the original pilot episode, followed at 8pm's Pet Project, 9pm's Fishy Business, and at 10pm pull an All-Nighter with the TerraCycle crew.  Below is a clip from the 9pm Fishy Business episode where they Tom and Alby visit a plant in Ohio that turns 500 chip bags into a brand new trash can and pitch the idea to the Home Depot team in Atlanta.  Be sure to join the TerraCycle preview party LIVE on ... [ Read More ]

Eco-Advent Calendars

Tis' the season for our children to WANT, WANT, WANT!  I struggle each year around this time to remind my 6 year old that it's not all about presents and Santa.  He had a homework project this week to talk about the holiday that we celebrate (Christmas) and why it's important to him.  His teacher is including Winter Holidays in her lesson plan and each child gets to contribute with the holiday that they celebrate.  While working on his project I realized that he still doesn't 'get it' with the reason we celebrate Christmas.  Christmas of course is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ in the Christian religion.  One way that people help celebrate the holiday is with Advent Calendars.  You can find them in most retail stores filled with candy hiding behind little cardboard doors.  The last two years I've made our Advent Calendar.  Last year I had a different part of the Christmas Story from the bible to read each day...leading up to the birth of Jesus on Christmas Day.  I ... [ Read More ]

Trashy Thursday


Here are some cute projects that I saw while visiting Epcot's Flower and Garden festival at Disney World a few weeks ago.  With a little time and imagination you can create some really cute projects for your garden.  I wonder which one will be my first project? Cute bird feeders from beverage bottle or milk jugs. Windchimes from old kitchen utensils. Or the cup and saucer bird baths? ... [ Read More ]

Trashy Thursday – Making Music

Here is a neat little musical instrument little man and I made for our new friends in Toronto, the Village Mama and family.  We had to go for a nature walk to find just the right sticks for the project.  The only requirement was that they had to form a 'Y' shape.  The two sticks we found weren't that strong so be sure to look for some sturdy sticks.  The next step was to paint the sticks with your favorite paint (we used acrylic paint from the craft store) and let them dry.  While they are drying we got to go outside and have some fun with the bottle caps.  Since we have someone in the house that drinks beer it's not hard to find bottle caps lying around.  We took the bottle caps (you can use as many or as few as you like...they make more noise with more caps) outside and hammered a nail into the middle of each one to make the hole for stringing.  Next we sanded each one with a small piece of sandpaper so the paint would adhere well.  Finally we painted each bottle cap and ... [ Read More ]

Trashy Thursday! V-Day Edition

We did it!  We made time to make our Valentine's butterflies.  We started with an empty toilet paper roll and wrapped it with pink paper (you could use scrap paper, envelopes, whatever you have around).  Next we cut out several hearts in different 'wing' sizes.  The little guy had fun decorating the wings.  Finally we cut out a circle for the head and added the facial features (eyes, nose, mouth) and attached it to the inside of the roll.  You can add feelers for an extra special touch.  We only spent about 15 minutes on the total project and he's all ready to go outside and fly his butterfly.  I guess he thinks it will attract other butterflies.  Kids are so cute!  ... [ Read More ]


Have you ever really thought about how much you waste each day?  As I sit here in an airport beginning my travels for the day I decided to track my waste for today.  It's not even 5am and already I have wasted about half a pound of trash.  When I get home tonight I'll finish my list but here is what I've thrown away (or will before 6am) so far.  I challenge you all to take a look at your waste for just one day and see where you can change.  Here is the deal, anything that goes into a trash can counts.  If you recycle it or compost it or it will be reused, it doesn't count.  Remember to include your food waste even at restaurants (unless you know the restuarant composts).  As of 5am: Two Kleenex tissues One Q-Tip One perscription bag and receipt One paper boarding pass One parking receipt One small plastic cup and lid (fruit salad container) One plastic fork One Starbucks Tall cup with lid and sleeve One napkin I'll update this list when I get back from my trip tonight.  ... [ Read More ]

What Do I Do With…?

If you are anything like me you have a garage, closet or attic full of stuff that you don't want anymore.  But what do you do with all that stuff?  My friend was going through her house this week doing some spring cleaning and asked me what she should do with it all.  So here are my environmental ideas on how to get rid of things you don't want anymore.  If it's really trash let it go.  This one is hard for me but sometimes it needs to happen.  However, remember that somethings can be recycled.  Have a garage sale.  Don't forget that one mans trash is another mans treasure.  Buy a booth at your local flea market to sell what you have. Ebay...again another option to make a little money on your stuff. Craigs List.  You can sell or give away on Craigs List. Donate, Donate, Donate.  This is the easiest of all options because you drop it off and let someone else decide what to do with it.  You also get a tax break for donating items.  Hand-Me-Downs.  Don't forget your ... [ Read More ]

Happy New Years Eve

It's almost here, 2008!  Looking back at 2007 I have made a good effort to make small changes in my everyday life that will benefit the environment; or at least lessen our impact.  So what are going to be my environmental resolutions for 2008?  I'm in need of a new vehicle this year; so I'm going to research hybrid cars and other non-hybrid alternatives to the regular car.  I promise right here to stay with something mid-sized and not but a gas guzzler! My first home project for 2008 is to remodel our guest bathroom.  I am going to try to find a reuse for many of the items that I am replacing; at the very least I am going to find a way to recycle things like the tub, toilet, and vanity.  Also when purchasing the replacements I'm going to think green. I resolve to use my green bags more often at the grocery store (and other stores as well). I want to start a small garden in the back yard.  With that garden I also want to start a compost pile and a rain barrel.  My garden is ... [ Read More ]

How was your Christmas?

Well Christmas has come and gone!  I am actually quite excited that today was the first trash pick up since then and we only had our average one trash can full.  We only had one bag of wrapping paper trash and the rest of the stuff (packaging) is going to the recycle center in the morning.  I had tried to keep all the wrapping paper and reuse it for my sons craft projects but it was too difficult to take off the tape.  Nevermind the fact that a four year old rips the paper into a million pieces when he opens it.  I did go shopping the day after and I'm faced with a new dilema...what to do with old ornaments.  I found some great new ornaments that I want to switch to next year but now I have all these old faded, chipped ornaments that need a home.  I'm thinking of giving them to his school so they can use them next year in the classroom.  Other than that I guess my only option is Goodwill.  I refuse to throw them in the trash.  So how much waste did you have this Christmas?  What ... [ Read More ]