So with bugs the theme our first recycling project was making Mason Bee Homes. That would have been enough to stick to the "bug" theme of the year but we went a little farther and made the cans we recycled also look like bugs too. Members painted their choice of bug on their can, while the paint dried members had the tedious job of rolling and rolling paper tube inserts to fill toilet paper rolls that would later be inserted into the cans.
This was a great Earth Day Project as we recycled, reused or used left over items from other projects for the entire project. The paint, glue, eyes, screws and even the sticks were left overs from other projects. The cans, newspaper, tp rolls and wings were all recycled for this project. Nothing new was added to the Earth that needed removing later other then adorable bug garden art and who wouldn't want these in their gardens.
Another fun recycling project we did while paint dried on our cans was making Funny Face Planters. These were a pretty simple project. Members used the same glue and eyes from the other project to attach to recycled snack size containers and then drew on the rest of the face with permanent markers. Members then filled them with organic soil and then chose which seeds to plant in them. They could either choose grass seeds to add fun hair to their planter or Nasturtium flower seeds to feed the mason bees once they moved in their houses or they could replant their Leprechaun Trap Garden plants in them when they got home. I think most members chose the flower seeds as we did not have any left.....feeding those pollinators and sticking to a bug theme, love it :)
If you wondering we used? Our containers are Pringles snack size containers as we had enough of them but any pudding or jello cups would work too. Even a recycled bottle would work but I would recommend that you shy away from any that may have had chemicals, perfumes or dyes in them as we were planting seeds in them.
I am a big "waste not want not" kind of person so I recommend that since we all know you never get all soap out even after you rinse them in the shower be sure after you take your lids off to drain any extra substance into your new bottle rather then just wasting the last bits.
*side not- these take a while to rinse out and they still have a prefumy smell to them even after cleaning so that is one reason I would not recommend these for the funny face planters above. I'm sure there a many more uses for these then the photos below but here are 2 ways they are being used in my house after our meeting.
These were all very easy projects other then asking kids to wait for stuff to dry as that's never easy. If you are looking for fun easy Earth Day projects I definitely recommend these.
I know most of the items we used are recyclable and would (or should) not end up taking up space in a landfill or floating in our oceans but now we can be sure of that as they all have homes with us.
The mason bees will be happy to have a nice home and will hopefully pollinate our nasturtium plants and other garden items and I now have a nice place to keep my hole puncher that I am constantly looking for. But the best part of this is that many members were in awe of what could be made from something they would normally toss.
And these projects don't have to be just Earth Day projects. Need a quick gift for your mom for Mothers Day, well she would just about love any of them. Or how about a decorative holder for dad to fill with tools, nails/screws or even pens at his desk for Fathers Day.
The sky is the limit with these projects and you can have the satisfaction of knowing you are doing your part to save the plant.
Happy Earth Day 2018