Posts Tagged ‘summer’

The Great Outdoors Is Even Greater When You Upcycle

Over the last 15 years, the amount of trash generated per household in the United States has decreased dramatically – dropping by some 50 percent between 2000 and 2010. But we still have some work today. For instance, each year, we send more than 8 tons of furniture to landfills, and outdoor furniture is some of the most discarded. Before you throw out that rusted lawn chair or weathered deck furniture, check out these creative ideas to upcycle those unwanted items into a beautiful backyard display.

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Use Your Noodle: Upcycle!

Did you know pool noodles are made of  polyethylene foam? And did you know that polyethylene foam and other foam products fill up 30 percent of our landfill space, and landfills are fast becoming full? Non-recycled, cross-linked polyethylene foam waste takes many hundreds, or even thousands of years to degrade, generating serious problems for the stability and longevity of landfills. So before you throw away last summer’s noodles, check out these creative ways to upcycle them and divert them from the landfills.

USE POOL NOODLES FOR BATH TIME WATER PLAY

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USE POOL NOODLES TO BABY PROOF YOUR HOUSE

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USE POOL NOODLES TO DECORATE! CHECK OUT THE RAINBOW HEADBOARD!

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CUT NOODLES DOWN THE MIDDLE AND MAKE A COOL MARBLE OR TOY CAR TRACK.

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Get Your Game On and Upcycle!

School’s out; summer’s in, which means it’s time for the annual family vacation. Whether you’re traveling by road, rail, air or sea, as a parent, you know there will be the inevitable “Are we there yet?” Keep your brood busy (and your nerves in check) with these crafty travel games you and the kids can make from upcycled materials you already have at home.

I Spy
Fill an old mason or pasta sauce jar with rice and small items from around the house. Think marbles, stray Leggos or hair barrettes. Have the kids take turns shaking the jar and calling out the items they see. The first person to spy all the items wins.

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Tic-Tac-Altoid
An old Altoid container, buttons and string make a perfectly portable tic-tac-toe game.

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CD Checkers
If you’re like me, you have a ton of empty CD and DVD jewel cases lying around the house. Open the case and use string (or a permanent marker) to map out a miniature checker board. Use buttons or soda bottle tops as game pieces. If you want to get fancy with it, cover the CD case with felt and hot glue Velcro tans to the checker pieces.

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Dice or Dare
Take a pair if dice from an old board game and enclose them in a plastic container. Then assign a “dare” to each number 2-12. For example, a roll of 2 might call for naming state capitals that begin with the letter N. Take turns rolling the dice in the container until everyone has had a few turns.

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