by Brenna Toman
Magazines, scissors, glue, and a toothpick. That is all you (or your kid!) need to make surprisingly upscale looking paper beads out of any old magazine page. In the past few weeks, I have helped over 150 3rd and 4th graders from Barre City Elementary to create unique presents out of discarded materials.
The Barre City art program is no stranger to using found and repurposed materials in its art projects. You can’t miss the bright spiraling bottle cap art posted up on the hallways or the cascading, water-colored plastic bottle chandelier hanging from the stage in the auditorium. Nevertheless, the students were awestruck at the transformation of strips of paper to hard, glossy beads.
The impact goes further than repurposing one magazine page before it gets recycled. Handmade gifts require no money, enabling all students to participate at home. Rethinking trash lengthens its lifespan. Using found objects to create useful and meaningful objects is both an art and a habit. Students who can master this will be well equipped in a future tight on resources.
Want to give it a try? Make your own by following these directions.
There are a lot of opportunities to generate waste during the holidays. Between gift giving, gift wrapping, decorations, dinner parties, leftovers, and more gatherings with family and friends. The EPA reports that between Thanksgiving and New Years the volume of waste from households in the US increases by nearly 25%, around 1 million tons. Read on for tips for zero waste gifts, wrapping, decorations and more.
Top 4 Tips for Zero Waste Gifts
1. Gift of an experience
More tips from: Trash is for Tossers, Zero Waste Home
Wrap it in meaning, not future trash.
If you do use wrapping paper ... Sort it, Don't waste it!
Bows, tinsel, ribbons--these can be saved and reused for a few years until they fall apart and become trash.
Styrofoam (often packaging for large electronics)
Recycling or Reuse:
Wrapping paper, cardboard (including tubes from paper), boxboard, tissue paper
Hemp or other natural twine, shredded newspaper, office paper, or brown paper bags
Decorations and 5 ways to Go Green this Holiday Season
What Happens to your Tree after Christmas?
There are many places to drop off your trees after the holiday season throughout the district. Vermont's Universal Recycling Law bans clean wood waste, including trees from the landfill as of July 1, 2016.
**Don't forget to remove all tinsel, ornaments, and non-organic materials from the tree before dropping it off.
This post is brought to you by Charlotte Low, CVSWMD Outreach Coordinator
by CVSWMD General Manager Bruce Westcott
Cassandra Hemenway, CVSWMD Outreach Manager, Jan Lloyd, Zero Waste Events Coordinator all contribute to this blog.