This article was written by Jordan — an editor at DIYerHacks. He loves to work on different projects that reuse and recycle materials, the feeling of working with his hands, and making something from nothing out of them.
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In light of today being Earth Day, it is important to remember that some of the most basic house recyclables can be re-used in a fun and meaningful way. With the hustle and bustle of life, it can be easier to just throw something away rather than think about how else it could be used. Up-cycling normal, everyday items can be a great way to make one of a kind pieces and conversation starters. These activities not only can save money, but can help teach resourcefulness. More importantly, however, it can show kids and adults alike to be responsible about the footprint they leave on the earth while giving home living a special flare.
Not only will this list of DIY activities reduce unnecessary trash, it will also create fun for the whole classroom, or family at home.
1. K-Cups as Plant Starters
K-Cups have become universally famous for the quick and easy cup of coffee one can make in the morning with a Keurig. The downside is all that plastic is only used once then thrown in the trash. However, a great way to re-use them instead is as plant starters. The only steps necessary are cleaning out the grounds, replacing them with garden soil with the seed in the middle, placing them in the desired location, and watering them when necessary.
2. Bottle Cap Magnets
Instead of throwing away the caps on recently consumed beverages, try making them into magnets to add a pop of color to the refrigerator. Hot gluing magnets that can be bought at any office supply store to the bottle cap is a quick way to up-cycle even the smallest of parts.
3. Solar Oven
One of the coolest things at any school science fair is the Solar Oven. The pizza box from last night's dinner can be used to cook today's snack such as nachos or even smores. First, take the pizza box and cut a flap in the top. Cover the flap with aluminum foil. Then, use clear plastic wrap to create an airtight window. Line the bottom of the box with black construction paper, and the edges of the bottom with rolled up newspaper. Last put the food in the bottom, set in the sun, and enjoy when the food is ready.
4. Lightbulb Terrarium
Old lightbulbs can find a new and exciting use by turning them into a mini garden with minimum upkeep. After clearing a bulb (using thick gloves and protective glasses) add two tablespoons of sand, add preserved and reindeer moss using long tweezers, place a tillandsia inside the bulb, and then use the tweezers to place rocks and pebbles around the plant. For a little bit of extra fun, especially if children are helping, adding small toy animals can make a cute addition. All that is left is straying the small plants with water once a week. A little bit of life inside the lightbulb can add a lot of brightness to a room.
5. Tin Can Storage Containers
Organization is important for a home and a great way to start is by using tin cans with plastic lids, such as peanut or coffee cans. Step one, take a hot glue gun and twine and use them to spiral the twine up the can. Cut the twine diagonally when reaching the top and attach to the rim of the can. Take the twine from the bottom of the lid, which needs to be 1/2 larger than the circumference of the can, and continue inwards until the end reaches the center. For the finishing touch, add a knob to the center of the lid.
6. Newspaper Mobile
Mobiles do not have to be for nurseries only, they can make a quirky and fun decoration for a kid's room, a craft room, or a classroom. Start by painting a twelve inch wooden hoop any desired color. Use a ruler to measure dimensions of the desired origami shapes onto the newspaper, then cut them out and form the shapes. Glue one end of fishing line cut into various lengths to the hoop and the other to the center of the shapes. To hang the hoop, glue three pieces of twine equally around the hoop, then hang from the ceiling of whatever lucky room gets the new mobile.
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