garden treasure

As we enter into the winter holiday season, I don’t know about you, but I find myself surrounded by more stuff and unfortunately, I also find that I am generating more waste too. Between preparing extra meals and treats for special events and visiting guests, gift exchanges, craft days, and my sad attempts at decorating, it seems like the paper, plastic, and cardboard especially in my life seems to grow exponentially. Although recycling is good, I think we are all quickly realizing that a better solution is to find ways to reuse products ourselves rather than having them enter the waste management stream at all.

So today, I thought I would share some of the articles and activities we have on KidsGardening for reusing and repurposing items to use in the garden. Perhaps some of these ideas will inspire you to stop and take a look at things before dropping them in the trash can or recycling bin this holiday season.

Carton 2 Garden Contest
The 2019-2020 Carton 2 Garden Contest is now underway. Schools can enter to win prizes for projects that come up with creative ways to re-purpose milk and juice cartons to either build or enhance their school garden. For inspiration, you can view projects from past winners or you can also receive a set of special lesson plans for using cartons by registering your interest in this year’s contest. Cartons can be from school or from home, so what better way to use all those extra juice and milk cartons you purchased for holiday guests. [Header image above is from a past year Carton 2 Garden winner.]

Reducing, Reusing and Recycling in the Garden
An awesome set of ideas from Annie Warmke, a former KidsGardening Advisory Board member, this article provides ideas for reusing jar lids, tin cans, campaign signs (another product of the month of November), baby food jars, metal baskets, plastic sandwich bags, soda bottles, grocery store bags, and much, much more.

Homemade Botanical Paper
Make paper out of paper and turn them into bookmarks, ornaments, stationary and other handmade gifts. You can also throw in a few seeds and the paper can later be planted in the spring to kick of your garden.

Garden Art Boxes
Boxes everywhere right? Turn them into activity kits that will help your young gardeners explore.

Compost Bins and Worm Compost Bins
Finally, don’t forget about all that food waste. You can turn extra food scraps into garden gold by composting them.  If your weather is not ideal for starting an outdoor compost bin, explore ways to construct a worm compost bin which can be (and in most cases should be) located indoors.

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