By editorial intern Michelle Golden
We sometimes forget that Mother Earth is one of our best friends. Recycling is one of the best-known ways to help our planet — but recycling doesn’t necessarily mean putting last week’s newspapers in a blue bin. By using your imagination, you can reuse almost anything – or pass along to someone in need. So express yourself creatively — it’s a great way to help our planet!
Here are some creative, fun ways to give Mother Earth a hug:
1) When you finish a bottle of shampoo, cut it into pieces. Do this for every plastic bottle you come across. Glue the pieces in any pattern you’d like on a canvas or on a bare white wall in your bedroom — or even on cardboard to make a stand-up birthday card for a friend.
2) Got old string lying around your house? Got any thin shoelaces that you won’t be using anymore? Collect some pieces – by keeping string out of the trash, you save both land and sea animals from getting entangled and caught in the strings. Tie them all together on both ends (you’ll probably use three or so pieces 5-8 inches in length) and use the loop of string and your fingers to make different patterns. The most popular is the Cat’s Cradle. To find out how to make a Cat’s Cradle, visit ifyoulovetoread.com for some cool tips.
3) Found an old pair of glasses from the third grade and thinking of tossing them? Think about donating them instead. When we throw out glasses, we are throwing out metal, glass, and plastic. According to the Glass Packaging Institute, recycling glass uses 66 percent of the energy it would take to manufacture new glass. That’s a lot of energy used to recycle glass! In general, because glass is heavier than plastic and uses more fuel to transport, it is best to reuse glass as much as possible. If you’re interested, check out these sites:
4) Prom is just around the corner, and many girls may be concerned about having nothing to wear. Why waste $350 on a dress you might not ever wear again?! This night is supposed to be special and it can be no matter what you’re wearing. One inspiring teen, Elizabeth Rasmuson, made her prom dress out of gum wrappers. By keeping tinfoil, wax, and paper out of the Earth’s soil and putting it to some other use, you can keep the planet cleaner.
5) Instead of charging your cell phone all night long, plug it in for a few minutes during the day. Not only does it save energy, but it saves your battery as well! Overcharging your cell phone can drain the battery – which means you’ll be back at the store buying another in no time. Waste of money as well? We think so.
6) We’ve all heard it before – brushing your teeth with the water on wastes a lot of water. But it also wastes a lot of money! Saving up for an iPod or those new green Chuck Taylor’s? Well, when you brush your teeth with the water running for even two minutes, you are wasting almost ten gallons of water. Think about how much money that is. Instead, pour some water into a cup and use that to brush your teeth.