Reduce, recycle, repurpose and reuse are good habits for Earth Day. But every day can be Earth Day if you repurpose and reuse recycled trash. Your recycle bin is an excellent source for recycled trash crafts and recycle bin craft supplies. Here’s what to save for a year of eco-friendly craft supplies. Here is a list of eco-friendly crafts supplies for Earth Day trash crafts, plus how to organize recycled trash arts and crafts supplies in small spaces.
You may think that you don’t have room to save recycled trash for arts and crafts supplies, but it can all be condensed into a compact area to fit into arts and crafts supplies cupboard. First, you’ll need a system for sorting arts and crafts supplies. Make your own using large, deep rectangular bins from laundry soap, or with recycled trash cardboard boxes. Lay bins or boxes on their sides with the mouths open facing forward. If you have a closet, stack craft bins upright. If you have shelves, stack them horizontally. This will create pigeon holes to sort recycled trash into. If bins don’t stack well, attach them together with duct tape. Create storage spaces similar to grocery store bulk bins (ask stores for to donate bins when done). Label each bin with permanent marker in large letters.
Save recycled trash items including but not limited to:
egg cartons (nested for ease of storage): These make great trash crafts flowers, caterpillars, cars, Mancala games(see instructions), disposable paint trays, sorting games, display and storage for rock, coin or other small collections.
recycled trash packages and boxes (collapse paper boxes, stack or nest plastic containers to save space) Use these for trash crafts of model castles and villages, grocery store math, dramatic play, scrap cardboard, backing for pictures, advertising words
magazines: Use for collages, posters, spelling words, language arts, graphic arts, dioramas, etc.
small plastic covered dishes (stack inside each other) use for sorting, storage, cutting plastic templates, model villages and castles, seed and plant starters, chemistry experiments, mixing compounds, plaster of Paris (never rinse this down the drain; use throw away dishes)
baby food jars (store carefully) Make snow globes, baby tornadoes (Fill with water and one drop of dish soap; shake in a circular motion to create a vortex.)
recycled trash milk jugs: (cut apart and nest) Cut out handle and part of side to make a shovel, scoop or trowel (using a triangle shape). Cut out around opening to create simple funnel. Use these in a sand table. Make a simple bird feeder by cutting a window in the side and hanging by the handle.
plastic coffee cans: Make tribal drums and shakers adding a few pieces of dry popcorn. Have a drum circle.
pie pans and pot pie tins: (nested) These make great tambourines and shakers. Fill with popcorn or rice, staple and poke holes with a nail or punch. Tie jingle bells on to colored ribbon. Tie ribbons through holes.
paper towel/toilet paper tubes: These can be made into all sorts of recycled trash crafts.
old greeting cards: cut designs from old cards and use and repurpose and reuse in recycled trash crafts.
paper grocery bags: (store folded) Use for native vests (cut up the middle to decorate). Decorate for gift bags. Attach cut-outs of body parts (skeletal, digestive, muscular, circulatory system) for a model human body vest for science crafts from recycled trash.
shoe boxes: These won’t fit in bins, so nest and stack separately. Use for handmade games, dioramas, storage, treasure boxes and other recycled trash crafts.
old crayons and candles: Use for wax etchings, shaving, candles, etc.
holiday decorating stuff: plastic berries, leaves, flowers, paper doilies, garlands, etc., are great for recycled trash crafts and decorations.
recycled bread bags: Use for storage, disposal, and covering.
fabric scraps: Use for in a multitude of recycled trash crafts for decorating, sewing, stuffing, graphic arts, costumes, puppets, etc.
plastic grocery bags: cut bottom out and use for disposable art shirts, project storage and covering, trash can liners
wood scraps: Use for collages, construction, science.
decorative paper scraps: Save wallpaper samples, foil, wrapping paper, construction paper; use for mosaics and collage trash crafts.
tablecloths: Use for drop cloths for painting or messy play, picnics, homemade maps, etc.
recycled trash pill bottles: store with lids attached and use for science, sorting, storage, noisemakers, etc.
thread, string and yarn scraps: Save twine, colored yarn, kite string, fish line, floss, etc.
recycled trash metal scraps: (Avoid getting wet) Save keys, washers, nuts,bolts, screws, chain, bottle caps. wire. Use for science, collage, and language arts.
With this assortment of recycled trash crafts supplies, you’ll have the foundation for an excellent crafts program for school, homeschool, daycare, church school, camp arts and crafts. For more Earth Day ideas visit Lady Greenwise.