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Play with your food container

Published April 2, 2007


Trash. It's so ugly and unwanted. But it doesn't have to be.

Your family may recycle, and that certainly helps the environment. You can do some recycling of your own by turning unwanted stuff - call it trash, if you must - into something pretty, useful or fun.

Once you get in the habit of seeing trash for its potential, you can come up with all kinds of ideas for cool things to make. Try your hand at these suggestions or come up with some of your own.

Milk carton vase

Cut the top off a half-gallon milk or juice carton. Wash the bottom. Once it's dry, rub the outside with sandpaper to make it easier to paint, and let out your inner van Gogh! You might need two coats.

Once it's dry, squeeze the corners in a bit, and have an adult staple them to make the opening smaller, which is better for flower-arranging.

Water bottle race cars

Paint an empty water bottle your favorite racing color and, when it's dry, attach a tinfoil grill. The tires are two thread spools cut in half (have an adult do the cutting) and painted black. A straw snipped in two forms the wheel axles. Big glops of glue (have an adult use a glue gun) on the axles on both sides of the tires allow them to roll but not fall off.

Add detailing (stickers work well), and you're off to the races.

Make your own I Spy

You will need a digital camera for this one.

Use an old bag or small box to collect little items for a few days, avoiding anything that might rot. When you have 20 to 30 things, dump them out and arrange them on a flat surface (white works best). Hide some under others so that just a little shows.

Then take a picture of your setup, print it and - voila! - you have your own find-the-object page. Make copies for your friends or family, and watch them struggle with your puzzle. Make it hard!

Fast Facts:

Talkin' trash

Americans discard 2.5-million plastic bottles every hour!

[Last modified April 2, 2007, 01:02:51]

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