Thursday, December 30, 2010

No waste holiday!

Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Christ. It's a time when friends and family get together. I've noticed during this time the trashcans get fuller on my street as well. People have bought gifts and the cans are filled with boxes, colored paper and packing supplies. Also, the old broken items are disposed of and new items are put in their place. I had to think about, what I would do differently this year to cut back on the waste! How can I reuse and recycle during this holiday season?


Cans: We opened a lot of cans this season: condensed milk, beans, pie filling, etc. All of the cans went into the recycle pile for pickup. I also reused a can; we needed a new drip can for the BBQ and the beans can fit just right!

Wrap your gifts in recyclable and biodegradable wrapping:
Use brown packing paper and raffia ribbons made of recycles plastic bags for a country look. Use cloth for an elegant look!

Boxes: I was able to reuse many boxes for packing an sending gifts.
Other boxes I wrapped and used as decor around the house and others for gifts that were hard to wrap like clothing.

Tins: What to do with tins that hold Christmas cookies? Save them for next year and fill them with homemade goodies or use contact paper and recover them. They make great storage cans!

Biodegradable gifts

Food is always a great gift! Here is a great idea to use up some of that leftover candy!

Chocolate popcorn:
It's easy! Take 2 cups brown sugar, 1 c. butter and 1/2 c. corn or maple syrup. Let is slow boil for 5 min. Take it off the heat and add 1/2 tp baking soda, 1/2 tp salt, and 1 tp vanilla. Then spread on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 250 for 1 hour.
Remove from oven and cool for 10 min. Then dump it on wax paper. Melt some leftover Halloween and Christmas candies, chocolate and mix in your favorite nuts, raisins, mini marshmallows, etc and pour over the caramel popcorn. When the chocolate hardens break the clumps apart and store in tin containers or plastic ziplocks. :)

Iced tea:
Something as simple as this can cause a lot of waste. Instead of buying your iced tea in a can or buying powdered mix. Just boil your water on the stove and brew a big pot of tea. Then add sugar and a fresh lemon to taste. The tea tastes much fresher and you can add flavors like lemon, mint or toss in a candy cane!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A UGOGRN Holiday Decorations


These great ornaments were made out of paper bags!
You will need 6-8 paper bags. The size of the flower depends on the size of the bag.

First cut out the bottom of the bag.
Next lay the bag flat with the top of the bag facing up; cut the top edges of your bag to form a "bullet" shape.
Do this to all of your bags.

Next punch a whole in the bottom of the bag and attach a string. Tie the string loosely to allow the bags to move.

Carefully glue the bottom quarter of the bags together and allow to dry.

Then take the tip of the top bag and pull it around to the tip of the bottom bag; opening the flower. Tape or staple the "petals" together and hang!


You can never go wrong with flowers as a gift. Poinsettias are great for the season. Watch for sales at your home and garden store or grow your own!
Find fun holiday pots at thrift store or decorate your own pot to your liking.
Friends and family can transplant these plants into their yards after the holidays or put them in a larger pot to continue to grow!


Here is a fun and easy decoration to spruce up your presents. Cut out a gingerbread man out of an old cardboard box. You can then draw a face, add clothes, etc. They make great gift tags or embellishments to your packages. Plus you can rip it up when you are done and compost it!

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