5 Great Ideas for Earth Day 2013

Ideas for Earth Day--and everyday--this 2013

At Mixed Bag Designs, we are all for having fun on Earth Day. Use some of these project ideas to teach your students how to make their homes a little greener and share the importance of green living with the community.

1. Make handmade paper from recycled paper

Make decorative paper or greeting cards at home or in the classroom, for fun or to sell to make money to donate to your favorite green organization. Local recycling agencies might have staff available who are willing to teach a paper-making workshop. Check out this website we found for instructions on how to make your own homemade paper:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/1993-12-01/How-To-Make-Homemade-Paper.aspx#axzz2QG58OpLp

2. Make your own eco-friendly cleaners.

 Homemade cleaning products cost about one-tenth the cost of commercial cleaners.

Soft Scrubber:

-Mix ½ cup baking soda with your own liquid detergent to make a frosting-like texture.

Use the mixture with a sponge on the surface you want to clean, like your shower walls. It will clean easily and won’t leave any grit.

Window Cleaner:

-1/2 to ¼  teaspoon liquid detergent

-3 tablespoons vinegar

-2 cups water

These ingredients can be mixed in a bottle to use like any other window cleaner.

Furniture Polish

-1/2 teaspoon oil (olive oil or jojoba oil)

-1/4 cup vinegar or lemon juice

Mix these ingredients in a glass jar and dab a soft rag into the solution, then use it on furniture. The jar can be stored for use at a later date.

3. Have a Pledge/Mural for Earth Day

Organize a school-wide mural art project and have each student make an individual pledge, even if it’s something small, such as “I will turn off the lights when I leave the room”.

4. Make a Junk Mail Tree

Have students collect junk mail from home. Put together a junk mail tree and then post tips to the community on how to reduce junk mail and opt out of catalogs. Here are some tips to include with your junk mail tree to help parents and community members reduce the amount of junk mail they receive:

-Have parents visit 1-888-5-OPT-OUT. The phone number and associated website are run by major consumer reporting companies.

-The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Mail Preference Service (MPS) lets individuals opt out from receiving unsolicited commercial mail from a multitude of national companies. Registering for this service will reduce most of your junk mail.

5. Host a Freecycle/Swap Meet

Invite students and parents to bring in gently used items to school to trade. Some examples of items: sports equipment, toys, books, and games. Students can spend the day trading their stuff for things they might get more use out of, and at the end of the day any leftover items can be donated to a local charity. This can also be a good opportunity for students to do some “public speaking” on Earth Day topics or share stories.

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