Getting More Out Of Your Trash
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Getting More Out Of Your Trash

Do you ever think about how much you hate dealing with trash? In addition to collecting it inside of your house for awhile, you might also have to lug that big can outside every few days to shove it in a larger garbage can. However, you might not have to deal with trash as much if you can learn how to recycle. By repurposing your trash, you might be able to toss less, which could save you a lot of time and energy. I know that it sounds crazy, but I have been doing this for a few years and it really works. My site will teach you more, so read up!


Getting More Out Of Your Trash

Two Adorable Garden Projects For Kids Using Recycled Two-Liter Bottles

Samantha Bailey

Gardening with kids can be both fun and educational. These two kid-friendly projects also teach kids the importance of recycling as they use recycled bottles to make both a planter and a bird feeder. If you are looking for engaging gardening projects to do with your kids this summer, these two fit the bill.

Animal Planters: These cute little animal planters are ideal for getting kids involved in gardening. While small children will require adult help, older children can make the planters themselves. You will need one two-liter bottle per planter, scissors, paint, animal face templates and set of googly eyes.

  1. Wash and dry the bottle and remove the label.
  2. Measure approximately 8-inches from the bottom of the bottle and mark the area with a permanent marker.
  3. Draw a line round the bottle and cut the top of the bottle off with a pair of scissors. You may need to punch a small hole to get started.
  4. Print or draw an animal face on a piece of paper. The face should be large enough to cover the front of the bottle. You can also print out an animal mask and resize it until it fits.
  5. Cut the drawing or mask out.
  6. Tape the animal face onto the front of the planter so that the ears or horns end at the upper edge of the cut bottle.
  7. Trace around the ears, horns and other features near the top of the bottle. This will form a 3-D effect at the top of the planter.
  8. Remove the drawing and cut the top edge of the planter following the traced outline for the ears and horns.
  9. Paint the entire bottle with weather resistant paint and allow it to dry. Choose paint in the color of the animal or paint it flat white and use whimsical colors later for adding details.
  10. Use your drawing or animal mask as a guide to add the details of the face with a contrasting color. You can also add distinctive features of the animal, such as stripes, spots or whiskers.
  11. Glue googly eyes on the planter.

Whimsical Bird Feeders

These little bird feeders look great in the garden and teach kids about attracting and feeding birds. This works best with a soda bottle with a slight hourglass shape, but any two-liter bottle will do.

  1. Wash and dry the bottle and remove the label.
  2. Cut the top off the bottle at the point where the sides straighten. This should look like a small funnel.
  3. Trim the bottom of the bottle so it is approximately six inches tall. The measurements do not need to be exact. This forms the base of your bird feeder. Alter the height to suit your preferences.
  4. Mark a 3- to 4-inch section along the top rim of the bottom section of the bottle.
  5. Start at one edge of this line and cut downward toward the bottom of the bottle stopping, about ½ inch before you reach the base of the bottle.
  6. Repeat the procedure at the other end of the marked line on the rim.
  7. Make a horizontal cut to connect the two cuts. This creates a rectangular opening for the bird feeder.
  8. Paint both the top and bottom of the bottle, including the cap. You may wish to paint them in contrasting colors so that the roof of the feeder and the base of the feeder are different colors.
  9. Use a paper punch to punch a hole on each side of the door (about 1 inch from the edge of the door) and one in the center back of the feeder.
  10. Slip the "roof" over the top of the feeder and mark spots for holes to match up with those on the base of the feeder. Punch the holes.
  11. Secure the two sections together with decorative brads.
  12. Drill a hole through the center of the bottle cap. The hole should be slightly larger than the rope you are using to hang the feeder.
  13. Tie a double knot in the end of the rope and thread the opposite end through the cap so the knot rests inside the cap. Tie a second knot on the top of the bottle cap. This prevents the rope from falling back inside the cap.
  14. Replace the cap on the birdfeeder and hang it in a tree or from your deck.
  15. Add birdseed to the bottom and sit back and watch as birds comes to call.

Before attempting these projects with your kids, make one of each yourself. This familiarizes you with the process and gives kids a visual model of the project. Older elementary children can complete these projects on their own with a little supervision from you. If you are working with younger children, cut and assemble them ahead of time and then let them loose with a paint brush or stickers to decorate them  themselves.

For more information about recycling, talk to a company like Main Street Fibers.