Tuesday, 17 December 2013

A Reuse Filled Christmas!

I love Christmas. Spending time with my family and friends means a lot to me. But as most of us know, the Christmas season is also a time of increased spending and waste production. But how much extra waste can actually come from one single day? I decided to do a bit of research, and found that in the two weeks after Christmas in 2012, the city of Edmonton collected 12 793 tonnes of waste and recyclables, compared to 5 666 the two weeks before. That’s over double the amount of waste! So I decided that this year I would try to reduce my impact on the environment, while also making creative and thoughtful presents and maybe even saving a buck or two.
I began my shopping (of course) at the Reuse Centre! What better way to reduce your impact than buying items that are in need of a second home? There I found all sorts of useful things, such as wine corks, frozen juice lids, Christmas cards, ribbon, puzzle pieces, paint and everything else I needed to make a list of meaningful Christmas gifts.
From here, I got to go nuts! Making your own Christmas presents means that the sky is the limit. You can go as far as your creativity is willing to take you! Here are a few ideas that I came up with:

This is a Christmas ornament is made from a frozen juice lid, a Christmas card, lace and sequins, all found at the Reuse Centre. I made a few different ones with different images, this one of a cardinal as well as Santa and a snowman. The craft was adapted from one I found on the Mrs.T's Christmas Kitchen blog.

This is a Christmas wreath made of a straw wreath frame, wine corks, ribbon and a bow. It was incredibly easy and great for the wine lover of the family! There's a step by step how-to instruction guide on the Save on Crafts blog.

This Christmas ornament is made from the other half of the card I used for the juice lid ornaments, puzzle pieces and paint. I made a craft like this as a kid, and I thought it would be nice to relive the memory! If you would like some direction, there is a nice tutorial on Lisa's Craft Blog.

These are just a few ideas of what you can do with the items found at the Reuse Centre, or any that you have saved for crafts. Next up are star shaped wall decorations made of magazines!
Not only did these gifts reduce my impact on the environment, but I have also spent a fraction of what I normally would on Christmas gifts (under $20 for all of these items and more!), and I have made presents that are unique and special to each one of my friends and family members. I am by no means an overly crafty or creative person, so if I can do this, anyone can! Where will your reuse filled Christmas take you?

- Leigh-Anna (Staff) is a program specialist for the City of Edmonton Waste Management Services and a Reuse Centre aficionado.

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