Everyone, from local government, energy firms, charities have made a push to ensure the amount we send to landfill is reduced. Whether by choice or through force, the fact that repurposing, reselling, freecycling and scrappage schemes have made their way into our modern day vocabulary shows the wide reaching, positive effect it is having.
Rather than hoarding junk in your garage, chucking unwanted items into a skip and sending it to landfill, it’s wise to plant the idea about reusing and recycling from an early age so it carries through to their whole life.
We’ve come up with a few homemade recycling ideas that you and your kids should enjoy.
Have your kids scrub them in warm soapy water with a scourer, to remove the manufacturer label and then dry off with a tea towel. Round up your old, almost empty nail polishes and with your aprons on, paint the glass in the colourful polish and allow to dry. Add in a battery powered tea light (much safer than a lit tea light candle) and your kids will have a colourful night light.
Get your children to cut out shapes from old magazines or coloured card and glue them to the side of a newly washed glass jam jar, using Pritt stick or PVA. From a choice of rice kernels, chickpeas and perhaps even pasta shapes (be inventive) fill the jar to a little over half way and then with a square cut of some old fabric, wrap it over the lid and secure with an elastic band. By altering the item that goes inside, you’ll have yourself a homemade band of instruments!
Have your kids pick out an old toy that came with some cereal or fast food meal. Importantly, it needs to fit within the jar! Have an adult superglue the toy to the inside of the jam jar lid. Next, fill the jar with water, and then from your selection of food colourings drop a few drips in to colour the water. Add a good dose of glitter next, and then screw the lid on tightly. Turn it upside down, give it a shake and you’ve got a new homemade snow globe!
Newspapers & Local Directory books
Whilst you’re reusing and recycling, why not save a little money as well? Paper mache piggy banks take a little while but it’s a fairly simple process. Blow up a balloon and using sellotape, stick the “legs” of an egg box to make the feet of a pig. Don’t forget one for the nose too!
With a generous amount of PVA glue mixed with some flour, get your children to add strips of newspaper or directory book pages to the entire balloon. It doesn’t matter what direction the paper is applied, just ensure they cover it all. Once this layer has dried, repeat the process again and allow to dry. Do this about 4 times and then paint the new piggy bank – pink, green, yellow – whatever colour they fancy.
An adult can then make a slit in the top using a knife (in the process popping the balloon inside. The only way to get the money out is to cut it out, so make sure there are a lot of coins rolling around inside, to make it all worthwhile!
Old Xmas Cards
Most cards have something eye-catching on the front these days. Have your kids cut out these designs, and then glue to some square or circular coloured card. An adult then pierces a hole in the top of the new tag, and your child then feeds some string or ribbon through and ties a knot. You’ve now got gift tags for next year and each one will be unique!
Tights that have been laddered, even if it’s only a small section, often end up in the bin. Cut the tights down to the foot section and then add some compost from the garden. Next, sprinkle in a few cress seeds (available from a DIY / garden store) and then tie the open end of the tights into a knot. Affix some googly eyes and red pipe cleaners for lips, and with some regular watering (follow the seed packet instructions) your old tights will start growing hair!
TBD Morris have for over 60 years been leading waste, recycling & environmental contractors.