Saturday, December 14, 2013

Hoarder or just crafty? You decide.

This season, Clean Ocean Action is offering tips on how to green your holiday. Here is the sixth of twelve in COA's '12 Days of Green Giving' series.

By:  Diana Reinhardt Paradis, Manager of Development and External Affairs

This time of year, my thoughts turn to times past and cherished memories.  I tend to save many of the decorations, ribbon, and assorted odds and ends from gifts and packaging I receive.  But what to do with the decorations, pretty packaging, and all of those paper products?     

It’s easy to reuse your holiday cards or old wrapping paper as gift tags.  Simply cut your favorite images with pinking shears, trace a scalloped pattern or, if you have one, use a die-cutting machine.  Images of Frosty, Santa and other holiday favorites are perfect for these upcycled gift tags.  Make sure the special message sent to you in the card does not appear on the back of your tag!  To make the backing for your tag, use drinking glasses of various sizes as templates for round, even circles.  Pop a hole in the top with a punch and thread with a ribbon to finish your tag.  

Or, instead of giving away your favorite cards, turn them into treasured holiday ornaments.  By cutting a series of circles, folding and strategically gluing the corners together, you can create a fantastic ornament.  Every year when you decorate your home, it will remind you of the heartfelt messages received from family and friends.  

You can also repurpose the decorations from last year’s festivities to decorate your home now.  I have turned New Year’s Eve party decorations into tree ornaments, saved tiny Santas that arrived on a fruit basket for featured decorations used on the wreath on my front door, and a metal truck I received one year filled with candy now hauls a tiny tree that once decorated a different gift.  An entire winter scene can be created from repurposed objects.  

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