Monday, December 10, 2012

More winter crafts!!!!!

Also, here are some links to more craft ideas:
Or just google "winter recycled crafts" and look at the images that pop up- you'll get some great ideas!

Winter Crafts!!!

I don't know about you, but when it get's cold , I feel like it either has to snow, or we should just skip winter entirely and more on to summer.  But since that's a little unreasonable, what better way to keep warm than to stay inside and make crafts!! Out of recycled materials!!! Here's some ideas from the craft classes....

Toilet paper tube penguins:

  • toilet paper tube
  • black construction paper
  • white paper  (you can use scrap computer paper)
  • googly eyes
  • scraps of yellow/orange paper
  1. Cut a strip of black paper long enough to wrap around the tube, and about an inch taller (so you can give your penguin hair).  Glue it around the tube.
  2. Cut out a white oval for the belly and two black teardrop shapes for the wings. Glue them on as seen in the picture.
  3. Cut out orange feet and glue them to the bottom of the tube. Cut out an orange diamond and fold it in half for an open beak.  Glue on the beak and googly eyes, and cut the extra black paper on top in a fringe for hair.
K-Cup Penguins:

  • coffee k-cup, painted black (if not already)
  • white paint
  • orange/yellow cardstock or painted cardboard
  • googly eyes
  • pipe cleaner
  • small bell
  1. Paint a white belly on your k-cup as shown in the picture.  Wait for it to dry before continuing.
  2. Glue on googly eyes, a yellow triangle for a beak, and yellow feet.
  3. If you would like to make your penguin into a bell, make a loop out of half a pipe cleaner and thread on the bell.  Twist the free ends together and push them through the hole in the top of the cup, forming a loop.
Bottle cap stamping:

  • bottle cap
  • white paint
  • other colors paint
  • paper bag or cardboard box
  1. Cut out a card sized piece of paper bag or card board and fold in half.
  2. Dip a bottle cap in the white paint and stamp 3 circles on top or eachother to form a snow man.
  3. Add accessories and details with other colors or paint, sequins, glitter, or whatever else you have on hand.
Cork Reindeer:

  • 2 corks of similar color/design
  • 2 pipe cleaners
  • a red pom pom
  • googly eyes
  1. Cut one of the pipe cleaners in half to be used for the legs.  Take one piece and fold it in half over the cork that will become the reindeer's body.  Twist the two ends of the pipe cleaner together where they meet against the cork; you should end up with a tight loop around the cork and two separate ends of the pipe cleaner.  Bend up the end of each of the legs to form feet. 
  2. Repeat step one with the other half of the pipe cleaner on the opposite end of the same cork.  You should end up with a body with 2 sets of  legs.
  3. Twist the whole other pipe cleaner around the other cork (the head) in the same way as with the legs, except instead of forming feet, bend them into an antlerish shape.
  4. Glue on the googly eyes and the red pom pom for a nose to the cork with the antlers.
  5. Glue the head of reindeer onto the body (you may need hot glue).

Winter Craft Classes

Thanks to everyone who attended the craft class, and to all the CASA kids who were able to participate in our craft night for the CASA program.  We had a lot of fun, and I'm still trying to decide who was cuter- the crafts or the kids!! Here's some pictures....

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Recycling symbols explained

Hey everyone!  Here's a good site explaining what materials are included in each of the recycling numbers (1-7) and what they're recycled into:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Where does your recycling go?

First off what exactly is recycling?  There are lots of sophisticated, scientific defintitions out there, but personally, I like the way it's described by taking something that isn't useful anymore and making it into something new instead of just throwing it away.  This includes repurposing materials, by making your trash into crafts, reusing plastic grocery bags to carry anything and everything, and yardsaling old clothes as well as putting all your paper, plastics, and cans in the big blue bin once a week. 

But as for the actual recycling process...

1.  First, after you put your recylables out on the curb, your trash collection service will come pick them up and sell them to a Materials Recovery Facility.  Here the items are sorted by material through a variety of means.  I have some basics of the MRF process here, but for a better, more detailed description watch the video at
  • heavier plastics, glass, and metals are separated from the lighter paper products by gravity
  • metals are separated using strong magnets
  • plastics and glass are separated by weight
  • glass is sorted by color and broken into pieces, called "cullet"
  • plastics are sorted by scanners, which separate them based on type and color
  • often in between steps, human workers mechanically separate out materials the machines might have missed
2.  The isolated materials are baled and sold to outside companies who make return them to their base material (plastics are ground into flakes and then pellets, then melted down to form plain plastic) and made into new materials.

3.  Some of these materials are down-cycled, meaning they are remade into weaker or less valuable materials.  For example, paper is made of tree fibers, and after being ground up for recycling, these fibers are shorter, and the resulting recycled paper is weaker and of a lower quality than the original product.  Eventually, the paper reaches a point where it can no longer be recycled and is sent to the landfill.  This is why it's so imported to reduce and reuse before you put something out for recycling.

 4.  To find out more information about what happens to specific materials after beign collected, visit:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

America Recycles Day!

Next Thursday, November 15th is America Recycles Day!!!!  The event is, in the words of the Loudoun Times-Mirror newspaper magazine, "designed to raise public awareness of the economic, environmental, and public health benefits associated with recycling." 

For more details you can visit
To find out more about recycling opportunities near us, visit or call 703-777-0187.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012