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Saving Two Birds With One Bottle Cap

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… Upcycle! 

What’s that? When we’re talking about waste reduction, upcycling is the newest craze! Upcycling is a creative way to reuse items that might otherwise go to a landfill or recycling plant. Upcycling gives them a second life as a more useful or valuable object. But why not just recycle your used soda can? Recycling still costs time, money, and energy. By repurposing things you not only save time and money, but you also help the planet by reducing waste and your environmental footprint. Visit Ecological Footprint to learn more about your impact on the Earth!
You and your family can make a difference while making cool crafts. By being eco-friendly and creative at the same time, you are saving two birds with one bottle cap! Bottle caps, soda tabs, cans, and junk mail are just a few examples of things you might ordinarily toss out that can be upcycled instead. To get you started, here are directions for an upcycled project using junk mail.

Junk Mail Beads

  1. Cut paper into long narrow triangle shaped strips (1/2 inch at wide end by the length of page). Try different widths and lengths for various shapes of beads.
  2. Roll paper triangle around a skinny straw or bamboo skewer (straws from juice pouches work great). When you get to the last few inches brush on a thin layer of glue to stick the bead together.
  3. Optional: Seal and water resist your beads by coating them with a thin layer of acrylic sealer or clear nail polish.
  4. When beads are dry, string on twine or fishing line and add other small beads to embellish.
Visit Inside the Outdoors for directions on making additional upcycled craft projects or do an online search to discover more eco-friendly ideas.
(July 2010)