How to Create a Christmas Gift Box Using Old Greeting Cards

 Published December 12th, 2014

Christmas will never be complete without presents, and creating special boxes from old greeting cards is a fun and creative way of showing our loved ones how much they mean to us. These one of a kind boxes are also an excellent activity for children and anyone who wishes to recycle.

Materials Needed: Old greeting cards, Ruler, Scissors, Adhesive tape. Stapler, Pencil, Glue Simple Steps in Creating a Gift Box


Step 1 Create the box pattern Measure the present’s dimensions, to get the ideal length, width and height of the box.

Step 2 Create one continuous surface Ordinary greeting cards have a limited surface area and multiple greeting cards must be used to create even one small gift box. The total number of cards may depend on how big the present is. To create one continuous surface, place the greeting cards side by side. Make sure that all the outer and more colorful portion of the greeting cards faces one side, and the inner side which usually contains the greeting cards message on the other. Use tape to temporarily attach the greeting cards together, creating one continuous surface.

Step 3 Marking the box’s sides, base and cover measurements The Base Mark the desired measurements into the greeting cards. Be careful to make the marks in the inner portion of the cards making a square in the process. Extend the square by one inch on all sides, mark this extended portion, this will be used to join the sides of the box. The base acts as a support for the present and be built more sturdily. You could use greeting cards which are thicker to provide ample support for the gift. If a thicker greeting card is not available, a good way of making the base sturdy is to create another base to double the base’s thickness. The Sides Mark the side’s measurements into the greeting cards. Extend the sides measurements by an inch and mark these extensions clearly. Repeat this process 4 times to form the 4 sides of the box. The Top Mark the top’s measurement into the greeting cards and extend the sides measurements by 2 inches. You may want to choose cards hich have the brightest colors to make the top of the box more attractive.


Step 4 Cutting out the sides Secure the greeting cards using the tape or staplers, place the tapes inside the inner portion to leave the outer box clear. Using another piece of paper and gluing it over the inner portion of the box is also a good ay of securing the greeting cards in place. Cut out the sides by following the markings. A square shape is then formed after cutting the greeting cards.

Step 5 Joining the sides of the box Fold the inner lines leaving an extension. Attach the sides of the box to the base using the extensions. Join the extensions securely using glue and staples.

Step 6 Creating the box cover Be sure to follow the cuts in Step 4. Pull the extensions downward in the outline of the covers edges. The extensions of the top cover are noticeably larger than the extensions of the sides and base, this gives the normal appearance of the box covers. You would also notice that the edges of the extensions go beyond the length of the sides. Insert them into the next extension, this serves as an anchor holding the extensions firmly in place. Use a combination of staples and glues to hold them tightly in place.

10 Ways of Reusing Paper Grocery Bags

Remember the days when Mom used brown paper grocery bags to pack your snacks at school? Reusing is one simple way of how we can cut down our use of paper. This is not only considered as being “Green” but is also a great way of saving money.

Many grocery stores have shunned away from using brown paper bags and have turned to plastic bags. The logic is simple, plastic bags are far cheaper and easier to produce. Plastic bags may be cheap but the use of plastic can prove to be costly for the environment.

1. Removing wax stains from clothes

One great way of reusing a paper bag is by using it to remove wax stains from your clothes. Scratching away at wax stains could damage delicate cloth fibers. Removing stains is quite simple, the paper bag is placed over the stained portion and the area is pressed with an iron. Always replace the area used for absorbing the wax with an unused portion of the paper bag.

2. Gift Wrappers

Using brown paper bags as gift wrappers don’t only show your creativity but also displays to a person that it took a little bit more time in preparing their gifts. In a time when everything seems to be mass produced and everyone seems to have the same things, using paper bags as gift wrappers could certainly make you stand out from the crowd.

3. Party Hats/ Masks

Bring out your creative side and use your imagination, paper is one of the best ways of expressing art. The unique shape and texture of grocery paper bags provide you with a great canvass for showcasing your creativity.

4. Book Covers
Plastics bags are quite sturdy; these bags can hold great loads for their small stature. Paper grocery bags give better protection and looks. It gives a rustic or old feeling and helps encourage people to read a book. This could also be a great way of reducing the need for using plastic as book covers.

5. Keeping Bread Fresh
Paper bags could keep your bread fresh and improve its storage life. Paper grocery bags are great for keeping moisture away and keeping bread in a well protected environment.

6. Kites
Paper bags are robust and can make your kites sturdier. Paper grocery bags are a better alternative to using ordinary paper extending your kites life longer. It is also a good substitute for plastics because you could use the paper as a canvass and leave some art to highlight your kites design.

7. Fruit Containers

Paper grocery bags are good for ripening fruits. They provide the fruits with a fairly warm environment where it can ripen faster. Placing some fruit peels together with the fruit could even make the process faster.

8. Compost
If you’re into gardening and recycling, using paper bags as an addition to your natural compost is great. They are a better alternative to old newspapers as they contain fewer or no inks at all. Be sure to shred the paper bags first for faster decomposition and better mixture.

9. Cat Litter

Before considering throwing away your paper grocery bags why don’t you consider them as cat litters? Paper bags are more convenient as you can throw them away together with the litter after use.

10. Lunch/ Snack pack

Some old traditions such as using these paper bags for snack or lunch packs are being shunned for plastic containers. What people don’t understand is that every time people use plastic it takes a huge toll on the environment. It takes hundreds of years just to breakdown plastics and these also contaminate food and water supplies with chemicals.

It doesn’t take much to contribute to a greener world. Everyone in their simple way could help preserve and maximize natural resources for future generations. So lets do it! What ways do you have to help us go green?

Can Children Become Sustainability Thinkers

Published 01 27, 2012 -

Children can Become Sustainability Thinkers

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We can leave the world better than we found it, through our children and learning ourselves a long the way

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Sustainability Is a Way of Thinking and Living- 

To me, sustainability implies a way of thinking and living. I have choosen to teach children, students, friends and family that our dear planet Earth is a closed system and that everything is inter-related. Healthy natural cycles are essential to the well being of this system. I like them to understand their part in our system, to care for our planet and others to feel empowered that they can make a difference.

  Developing an Appreciation for the Natural Environment

 Children can initially develop an appreciation for the natural environment, its creatures and other human beings around the world. We can share ample opportunities for both play and active exploration opportunities outdoors to develop respect for nature. Reading books and watching educational programs can help them experience the amazing diversity of life on our planet when there is not the opportunity to go outdoors.

Learning about the Earth is not just about facts. Sharing Nature with Children suggests teaching less and sharing more.

Sharing with children the bare facts of nature (“This is a Redwood tree”), I like to tell them about my inner feeling in the presence of that Redwood tree.

In nature, encourage children to experience the wonder by looking at ordinary things in great detail – a leaf, a snail crossing the trail, the underside of a fern, life under a rock. 



Emphasize Our Connection With Others

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Sustainability goes beyond the environment as well, it includes people. It considers the present and future quality of life in a community -economic, social and environmental.

I believe education should emphasize our connection with other people and species, and between human and planetary systems. We are connected to other people, other species, and other lands through the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the items and materials we use everyday, and our common reliance on a healthy environment. By gaining an understanding of this global interdependence, children become better equipped to make everyday choices that respect the rights of others and lessen their impact on the Earth’s life support systems.

Share about the world’s human geography demographics. Look at a miniature global village where you break down our population demographics into 100 people. Discuss food miles and where and how things are made.   Let them know that we are all part of the same web of life and that we are all inter-related.

  Sustainability Involves

Making Conscious Decisions



Sustainability involves making conscious decisions about how one’s actions impact the environment, our community, and the world. This goes far beyond the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Moving towards a sustainable future involves a change in the way our society thinks and behaves. We can think about the choices we make each day. We can understand the greater impact from our decisions such as choosing a present for our friend’s birthday, eating lunch at a fast food restaurant and even choosing a career to pursue.

Children can be empowered early on to take part in sustainability by helping them discover small ways they can take individual and group action to make a difference. Our children are the future. We choose to help them gain the understanding and motivation to help change the world.

Discussion Questions on Sustainability for Children and Students

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The following are some discussion questions that will help our children or students move towards becoming “sustainable thinkers.”

• What natural systems create life on our planet? (air, water, energy)

• What is a food chain and a food web??

• What is a habitat??• What is an eco-system??

• What are the many functions of trees??

• Why is the planet currently loosing trees??

• What is the current population growth??

• Where do most of the world’s population live??

• What is the average annual income there?

• What is global warming and its causes??

• What types of pollution are there and its causes??

• What are renewable and non-renewable resources??

• What is your ecological footprint??

• What is organic food??

• Why is organic food more expensive??

• Where is our food grown??

• What are food miles??

• Who is growing our food??

• Where are your clothes made??

• Who is making the products you buy??

• Who has access to more sustainable choices??

• What are ways you can make a difference??

• How can you use less (i.e., reduce)?

• What do you really need to live happily??

• How can we help others??

• What are some positive contributions people, organizations and countries are making?

Activities to Encourage Sustainable Thinkers

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Start a nature journal

• Set up a compost bin

• Start a small produce garden (or container garden)

• Take regular nature walks

•Visit a dump and recycling depot

• Visit an organic farm

• Plant or adopt a tree

• Collect non-perishable foods items for local food banks

• Fund-raise for a world hunger aid organization

• Raise money for a child’s education or environmental project

• Study in detail a localized ecosystem such as an old log

• Collect your garbage for a day (or week)

• Check out the movie Garbage Revolution!?

• Draw or paint a picture of a sustainable world

• Take out a globe and track down where everything in a room comes from

• Educate others by making posters for your community centre or school bulletin board

• Write a story or poem to share with others or have published.

Please contact us to share your ideas!

Love ya and thanks
Harry Johansing

Posted by: The Banana Paper Guy

Recycling: Bringing Old Things to Life

Published March 26, 2010 – 10:44pm
Posted by: Patrick

Old Papers

Newspapers, magazines, old notebooks and cardboards make up a huge percentage of all recycled materials. Although it still takes considerable amounts to produce a single ton of new paper with recycled materials, using recycled paper saves three tons of virgin wood pulp for every ton of recycled paper product.  Newspapers and magazines and all other types of paper are first shredded. These are then bathed to remove all the ink and impurities. These results to a fine pulp which is then mixed with wood chips to strengthen the fibers. The fibers go thru the normal process of creating paper where the pulp is emptied into a screen and drained. The drained material is then passed thru heated rollers where they are flattened. The pressed paper is then rolled and sold as materials for creating newspapers and magazines which starts the cycle again.

 Aluminum

More than 90 percent of all beverage cans in the United States are made from aluminum. This metal has been used for beer or carbonated beverages because they are both tough and light. Billions of aluminum cans are produced in the US alone to meet the huge need for this type of container. Aluminum is ideal for use in beverages because they are able to withstand the pressure of carbonated drinks without sacrificing weight in the process. The shiny finish is also ideal for providing a nice background for printing labels.  Aluminum cans are first shredded and melted into sheets were they are used then sent to production lines where are they shaped into cans or various products. Aluminum is not only great for making cans for beverages but they have also become an important component in car bodies. Because they are both lightweight and strong, using aluminum in car bodies decrease gas consumption.   Aluminum is the third most common element. Aluminum accounts for about a 3rd of the earth’s crust. But aluminum could not be found in a pure form, it is often mixed with other materials and separating it takes a lot of energy. Although aluminum is readily available for mining, the main benefit of recycling aluminum is the huge saving in energy cost in producing new aluminum from scratch.

Tin Cans

Tin cans are just steel containers which have been coated with tin. The tin is separated from the steel by dipping them in a tin removing solution and finally removed thru the process of electrolysis. The steel is then collected and shipped to different production sites where they are forged for a variety of purposes. The tin content is also sold to pharmaceuticals and chemical companies or recycled for the production of new tin cans.

recycled-aluminum-can-crafts-1

Glass

Glass products are first crushed into small and finer pieces. The broken glass is run thru machines which separate impurities such as paper and metals. The broken glass is then mixed with sand, limestone and soda ash all basic components of glass making. The mixture is then melted and blown into new glass products.

Mobile Phones

Ever wondered what happens to old mobile phones? With more and more people using mobile phones, these devices are fast becoming one of the top electronic wastes products. Many of us have been unable to let go of these electronic devices because upgrading is usually done not because the old mobile phone is busted but more about personal preference. Many would conclude that these devices generally end up as trash as buried in landfills. This however is not true as almost 60 to 70 percent of the mobile phone could be recycled. But the fact is, most of the old cellphones are stored away in a closet especially if they remain operational.

recycle-your-old-cell-phones

535 million trees

Published February 3, 2009 – 2:42pm Posted by: The Banana Paper Guy

Americans use approximately 31.5 million tons of printing and writing paper each year, an amount requiring over 535 million trees and countless gallons of oil to produce (the figure of oil usage, you’d be embarrassed to know).

More paper products are now recovered than sent to landfills in the US, yet 65 percent of used printing and writing paper still ends up in the waste stream.  The pulp and paper industry ranks first in use of industrial process water, third in toxic chemical releases, and fourth in emissions of the air pollutants known to impair respiratory health.   Simple changes in our paper use and purchasing practices can help limit the depletion of forests and loss of habitat, reduce pollution and decrease the stress on our landfills.Purchasing products that are chlorine-free and include post-consumer fibers will reduce the strain on natural resources, promote resource conservation and waste reduction, and minimize toxic emissions.

Please choose environmentally-friendly papers for your school and office needs, carefully read the labels know the sourcing!