Saturday, March 1, 2014

Up-Cycling

I up-cycled before it was cool. Patting myself on the back, it's difficult to not take a little pride in my creativity. Using shelves as bedside tables or turning curtains into bedskirts, I try to make it work. Even with leftovers, we might have a roasted chicken and butter beans with rice for supper on Monday. The leftovers are turned into a chicken pot pie. Or a side of broccoli will be tossed in the next night's pasta dinner. Large flower arrangements get divided and shrink as the flowers start to wither away. Currently, I have spider lilies in bloom on my kitchen table. Last week they were lilies and tulips. A new vase, some new water- we brought some life back to those beauties.

Spice jars get recycled and baby food jars hold screws. A storage trunk became a coffee table and a dining room table was cut into two occasional tables. Husband is taking old doors and turning them into a cabinet for outside.

Starting to get the picture? We know how to cycle things for re-use.

And it isn't because we love Mother Earth. Don't get me wrong. I do plenty of anti-earthy things, too. I prefer to run the dishwasher half full-- it makes it easier to unload. I throw away plastic cups. I don't... okay, I am just being honest.... I don't recycle. Those Diet Coke cans hit the trash right next to the wine bottles and mayonnaise jars. That bag gets tossed in the trash. I do recycle junk mail, mostly because it is incredibly easy to open the blue lid instead of the trash lid and toss it in there. My car gets pretty bad gas milage- but it's paid for, and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. To compensate for this, I cut the water off when I brush my teeth and keep the heater at 63 when Husband is not looking.

Cheap and Earth Conscious look surprisingly similar.

These facts are important to know as the groundwork for where I am going with this. Every week LMC's class has a different focus and a different letter. For instance, two weeks ago- it was dental health and the letter "P." This past week it was The Environment and the letter "K" ("it's a bossy "C"-- according to LMC). Unfortunately, this including recycling.

Miss M brought in a bunch of items that could be recycled into something else. The children got to look at everything and create something out of these items. They got to bring these items home and then they got to put those items to use.

Read: The kids got to dig through [clean] trash and bring it home. This trash could not be thrown away because they created a new purpose for it.

Lucky us, we got a Carnation Instant Breakfast container that she covered with junk mail and was up-cycled as a toothbrush holder. She was very, very proud of this. It sits on her counter... well, it sat on her counter until the housekeeper threw it away because she, perish the thought, thought it was trash.

My friend was lucky enough to bring home an egg box to hold her dishwasher tabs. Lucky her, at least it stays under the cabinet. 12 at a time go into the individual slots and after 12 loads of dishes (full loads, of that I am certain), she gets to replenish her stash.

SIL has two white boxes separated by cardboard paper towel holders. Niece made a castle that sits in her bedroom- so she can play with it whenever she wants.

That was Day One.

Day Two the kids came home with Capri Suns that have been repurposed as pockets. You know, because pockets hold things. Ours accidentally hit the trash, but fear not! LMC was digging through the can looking for things that could be repurposed. She cried. I told her it was an accident. (Accident that she found it)

Day Three LMC was cutting paper into pieces, painting it green and throwing it in the trash. Maybe that recycling lesson did not hit home quite like Miss M had hoped.

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