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Homeschooling The Well Prepared Child: Wrapping and Recycling

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Wrapping and Recycling

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Say What?   

     We are very much a recycling family.  Reducing our foot print on the Earth is important to us. According RecycleWorks.org  "From Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, household waste increases by more than 25%. Added food waste, shopping bags, packaging, wrapping paper, bows and ribbons all add up to an additional 1 million tons a week to our landfills..."  Whoa! Really? 

How does my family try to make a difference on a daily basis?  

      How we try to eliminate the waste products we use in our house is through recycling and upcycling. Zoey makes most of her doll house furniture from recycled food boxes and other 'trash can' items. We shop at local resale shops and garage sales for items we need before buying new. Our animals consume our kitchen food waste when possible and the rest is composted. The trash my family creates is either burnt and the ash used to improve the soil on our land, or what is non-burnable is sent to the scrap yard. What the scrap yard will not except (ours will not take tin cans from canned goods or glass) are the only items we actually send to the landfill. However, glass jars are recycled to hold our herbs and self dried foods, and fresh fruits and vegetables are used as much as possible in place of canned. Coffee cans are being reclaimed to help organize the garage. (I drink A LOT of coffee!) Really, only a 50 pound chicken feed bagrecycled into a trash bag, is sent to the dumpster maybe once or twice a month. 

But what about Christmas?

    One of our big ways of keeping all of the Christmas waste from piling up is to use granola bar, pop tart, cereal and other food boxes in place of buying holiday gift boxes. We also use inexpensive paper because it is thinner, therefore, it produces less waste. Presents bought for all the nieces and nephews are useful items, like jackets, pillows, or stuff that gets them out of the house and/or using their imagination skills, not just a bunch of expensive toys that end up lost or broke and in the trash. My crew is getting sports balls and personalized pillows to cuddle with this year. (SHHHHH... don't ruin the surprise!) But we can't pack them into a granola box! Shirts, CD's, and other small items can be though! Here! I'll show you! 

Wrapping a T-shirt in a recycled granola bar box

Step 1

Gather your box to recycle and the t-shirt in which you are wrapping. My daughter and her PaPa Clifton share a love for wolves, so she picked out this shirt for him. Made sure your wrapping paper, tape and scissors are handy. 

Step 2

Lay your shirt out flat. Remember to remove any stickers that may have the price tag on it. That is a very important step! My mother is notorious for leaving price tags on. My siblings and I joke that she does this on purpose, but I seriously doubt it. I have been known to leave tags on myself :) and I definitely do not do this on purpose. Then, flip your shirt over to begin your folds.

Step 3

Start your first fold on the right, by deciding where the imaginary line of 1/3 of the shirt is. Then fold the left side over. Use the box to check that your folds equal to the same size of the box or just a little less. If the folded shirt width is too wide, then refold your shirt bringing the side over farther. If it is too narrow, fold the side of the shirt less. It might take you more than one try. 

Step 4

Now this step can get a bit tricky. Usually, I then fold the shirt in half from top to bottom, and then again in a 3 fold. Sometimes, it does not work out perfectly. If this happens to you, don't worry, just adjust your folds. It just so happens that my half fold and then 3 fold technique worked perfectly. Play with your folds until you get it right. The object is to have your shirt flat enough to easily slide into your box. Don't worry if it takes you several tries.  

Step 5

Slide that shirt right on in! 
View from the top. 
 Then secure the top of the box with a piece of tape. 

 Step 6

Now let's wrap it up! You will have to excuse my wrapping queen's wet head, it is another way we help to reduce our footprint on the Earth! 
Secure it with a piece of yarn. So Pretty! 

Now don't you feel good about giving a perfectly wrapped gift that also helps the environment? Got a pair of jeans that needs a box? Try a cereal box! 

Want to see other ways we have used recycled items? 
Check out our posts: 

Recycle, Re-use, Re-purpose! Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk! 

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