It’s the season of giving and gifting, but have you ever thought about how much waste is produced around the holidays? 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. It’s true, we all like getting new stuff, but you can reduce your waste and save money by re-using and re-purposing things that you already have to make great new gifts for friends and loved ones. Here are a few fun, simple, and creative solutions to help you reduce your waste this holiday season.
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3. It’s hard to believe, but CDs and DVDs are already becoming a thing of the past and most of us have some lying around the house. Paint over old discs to make coasters, dream catchers and cool wall art. Make a mobile or funky chandelier using an old hanger, some string, and discs.
4. DIY Corkboard: Save old corks from wine bottles to make a fun corkboard as a gift! Simply use an old frame that you already have, but make sure that it has a backer. Use a hot glue gun to attach the corks to the back of the frame. Let it cool and harden, then it’s ready to go!
5. Homemade ornaments are an easy gift to make using things that you already have around your house such as popsicle sticks, yarn, buttons, and glue. For ideas click here.
6. Another coaster idea: Use old rope or yarn, take a hot glue gun and add small dots of glue around the rope and coil it as you go.
7. Use old cardboard boxes to make fun bookmarks. Simply cut a carboard box into rectangular strips and decorate however you want.
8. Make someone a cozy new blanket using old textiles, t-shirts, towels and sheets. Cut fabric into squares and sew together.
9. Instead of buying wrapping paper, use old newspapers, magazines, or cloth to wrap presents. Brown paper bags work too, and you can decorate or color them with festive designs.
by Cara Stapleford, Eco-AmeriCorps service member at CVSWMD.