Fun and Easy Ways to Go Green

Recycling_kidsEarth Day 2013 is less than a week away.  How are you planning to celebrate?

Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot of green to go green.  All you need is a little time and some motivation to recycle what you already own.  By repurposing materials you would otherwise toss in the trash, you are not only saving money and showing your kids simple ways to save the planet, but you’re also giving them an outlet to showcase their creative energy.

Placemats:  Rather than spend cash on everyday placemats, consider making your own with poster board, old magazines and some clear contact paper.  Have your kids cut-out colorful pictures from the magazines or select letters from ads or articles that can spell out words that have special meaning to them.  Next, glue the images and letters on the poster board and cover the entire mat with contact paper.  If you don’t have old magazines, you could substitute with leftover wrapping paper, used greeting cards or extra personal photos.  Depending on how much material you have to recycle, you could make placemats for specific holidays, such as Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter using pictures or other recycled materials from these special occasions.

Soap Creatures:  Instead of pitching used bars of soap that are too small to work into a healthy lather, have your kids make fun creatures with them.  All you need are 3 cups worth of grated bar soap, 1 1/2 cups of water, food coloring and vegetable oil.  To start, combine the water and food coloring in a bowl, and then mix-in the grated soap.  Then, combine all of the ingredients until the soap is the consistency of Play-Doh.  Next, place a few drops of vegetable oil on your child’s hands and have him shape the soap into an animal or other creature.  When he is done molding, allow the soap to sit in a dry place overnight.  In the morning, you can decorate the soap animals with other bits of white soap found around the house.  You can even color the bits with additional food coloring to make contrasting shades for the animals’ eyes and hair.


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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.