Recycled Halloween?

I know Halloween is a fun time for kids. They get to dress up in fanciful or frightful costumes and get free candy!

But, it always seems like such a wasteful holiday to me. The stores are full of new costumes that will barely stay in one piece through the end of Oct. 31. Then, they lay in shreds on the closet floor. And, then there are plastic pumpkins, skull-shaped flashlights, glo-sticks and piles and piles of candy wrappers.

Do you have any ideas for making Halloween more eco-friendly? What do you do to reduce Oct. 31 waste? Share your ideas!

I have some stickers (above) in my Etsy shop that are made from handmade paper, created from junk mail and other sorts of paper trash. And my Halloween tags (at left) were made from the leftovers of another project. Do you have any ReduceReuseRecycle Halloween decorating ideas?

Back to school cleaning

Oh, sure, everyone's heard of "spring cleaning," what about back-to-school cleaning?

Wouldn't it be great for the kids to head back to school with everything all neat and orderly at home! If your house is anything like our house is, somewhere in your child's room are piles of pencils, scissors, rulers, etc.

By doing some back-to-school cleaning, you may be able to save a lot of money on school supplies!

However, if your child needs a selection of different items than you have bought in the past, or if you just like to start the new school year with new supplies, you may still want to go shopping. Still, you have that pile of used school supplies that you pulled out from underneath your kid's bed.

What should you do with them? How about donating the gently used school supplies? A local thrift store will be happy to take the items and re-sell or give them to families who are needing less expensive options. The school, too, may be able to find a family who will appreciate your used items. If those options aren't working for you, try a church or day care center for donating those barely used colored pencils, scissors, etc.

It'll lighten your load a bit and help out someone else.


Today is Earth Day! Celebrate! Do something earthly! Do something eco-friendly!

There are many great ideas out there for celebrating Earth Day. The Environmental Kids Club at the EPA's Web site has lots of fun, art projects, etc.

(The Earth Rise photo is courtesy of NASA and features the view of Earth from Apollo 8.)

Don't forget Earth Day tomorrow

Tomorrow, April 22, is Earth Day.


What do you do to protect Earth?

The Earth Day clip art is provided by and copyrighted by Bobbie Peachey,

Eco-friendly Pen

Over on my 365Letters blog, I've been writing about Earth Day topics. Today, I was digging around looking for some information on eco-friendly ink and pens. I came across a TreeHugger Forum discussion about the DBA 98 pen. It's 98 percent biodegradable and contains eco-friendly ink made from water, non-toxic pigments, glycerin (a food-grade sugar alcohol), and sodium benzoate (a food-grade preservative).  Check it out!

Reusing stuff in the garden

In many parts of the world, it's the time of year to start planning your garden.

The garden is a great place to reuse and recycle many items. The Frugal Gardening site has a great list of things that can be reused in the garden. Check it out!

Jewelry from "trash"

Last week, my daughter's Scholastic Book order came in, so she had a lot of reading to keep her entertained over the weekend. One of the books she had requested and that turned out to be one of the favorites was titled "Make Your Own Recycled Jewelry." I can't seem to find it out there on the Internet, except for in Scholastic flyers, but it has lots of fun directions for making paper beads, jewelry from bottlecaps, etc. Anna had fun turning all sorts of "trash" into cute jewelry. Look around and see if there's anything that you don't have to throw away today.

Recycled Frogs

Since April is National Frog Month, this is a great time to create some froggy art from recycled materials.

Here is a Frog Garden Sign made from old soda cans, bottle caps, some paint, scraps of wood, etc. I'll warn you, the first photo of the sign was deleted, but if you'll scroll down on that GardenWeb page, the photo was reposted. And, there are directions there, too.

And there's a Frog Treasure Keeper featured on the cover of the latest issue of Family Fun Magazine.

There's a great Frog Hat and a papier mache frog here.

Frogland has some great frog information and links, and Dorota, who created Frogland, drew the artwork at the top of this page.

Recycling old cards

I know it's almost February, but do you have a stack of Christmas cards still sitting around because you can't bear to throw them away, yet you're not quite sure what to do with them? And, now Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Do you have a box in the closet stuffed full of old Valentines? Why not adopt some of the Christmas card re-use ideas and make some fun Valentines decorations.

Here are some Web sites with some ideas for reusing greeting cards (they may have some ideas that are similar to the others, but I think each link has at least one unique idea):

Make Stuff

Family Crafts

Activity Village

Living a Better Life

Making Friends

St. Jude's Ranch for Children (St. Jude's is a nonprofit corporation serving abused, abandoned and neglected children and families. They also sell recycled greeting cards online.)
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