When people think about becoming more environmentally friendly the first thoughts that come to mind are recycling bottles and paper, driving a vehicle with better gas mileage, or using less toxic chemicals when cleaining. But there is another way to help the planet by turning old items from around the house into new ones to use or even give as a gift.
Glass jars once emptied can become decorative and useful items. Remove the label by soaking it in water. Then with glass paint create a one of a kind jar that can be used for any number of things from using as adrinking glass (depending on the size of the jar), to hold small items that are forever getting lost in a box or a drawer, or as a candy jar. Once a jar has been decorated and baked to seal the paint, it can be used to give as a gift.
Instead of throwing away old towels, blankets, curtains, and even shirts wash them and use them to cover an old pillow. Hate that flat bed pillow? Fold it over, cover it with material and now you have a new thicker pillow perfect as a throw pillow or to put back on the bed. No home can have too many pillows and this is an inexpensive way to make sure there are plenty.
Everyone has had an old T-shirt that they hated to get rid of once the shirt was worn out. Now you can keep that old shirt and have a cozy warm blanket or throw to keep out the winter chill. Cut the designs from the shirts, sew them togethr with a backing – an old blanket or bed spread is good to use, and now you have a new favourite blanket.
Know someone who makes quilts or do you make them yourself? Instead of spending a lot of money on a new backing or stuffing re-use that old blanket hiding in the back of the closet – you know the scratchy one nobody likes. In the old days quilters used newspaper to line quilts; today you can use an old blanket in much the same way and not have to worry about what will happen when it gets put into the wash.
Like to cook but can’t afford all those expensive cookbooks? Visit the local library and pick up some old magazine that are usually for sale for 10, 25, or 50 cents; then look through them and cut out the recipes you like. Use these recipes to create your own personal cookbook. Know someone who loves to cook? You can do the same thing and give it as a gift. Paste the recipes onto paper and put them in a notebook binder. If you have an old binder around the house cover it with material or paper to create a new one of a kind cookbook.
Don’t know what to do with all those cookie, candy, and popcorn tins laying around? The cooke and candy tins can be re-used for your own personal cookie or candy box. For those who like to bake these tins are perfect to put the homemade baked goods inside. Since that was their original purpose the baked goodies will not go bad. The large popcorn tins are great for storage whether it be toys, small items, or even holiday items like paper, ribbons and small decorations.
Although not suitable for giving away, recycling paper from the office or home for telephone messages, notes, or math homework is a good way to helpt the environment.
Becoming environmentally friendly is not limited to the recycle bin and the family vehickle; but is as open as the imagination.