Save Mother Earth! Creative Ways To Repurpose Disposable ProductsBy Julie Senger Before you throw away another single-use food or beverage container, take that old coffee table to the dump, or toss those outdated CDs in the trash, you might want to keep in mind that many materials take hundreds of years to break down, with plastic taking an estimated 1,000 years to decompose. “Recycling benefits us by preserving natural resources, saving energy, and protecting the environment,” (ComfyLiving.net). In addition to sorting waste into recycling bins at home, repurposing “disposable” items is another responsible, useful, and fun option. Since April 22 is Earth Day, celebrate it by trying out one of these crafty ideas that reuse materials you likely already have on hand: DIY Sprinkler Kids will love running through this sprinkler on a warm spring day, especially if you let them take a Sharpie and mark all the spots on the bottle where they want an adult to drill holes. You can also use the sprinkler to water your grass or garden. Materials Recycled plastic 2-liter bottle Waterproof tape Drill Water hose Instructions Drill holes in the plastic bottle in the places you’d like water to squirt out. Do not drill holes on the side that will be in contact with the ground. Align the opening of your plastic bottle with the nozzle of the water hose and secure the connection with waterproof tape. Turn on the water and let the fun begin! Mosaic Table/Nightstand This project is perfect for a teenager’s funky bedroom, a musician’s rehearsal space, or anywhere you want to add a bit of eclectic sparkle to the area. Materials Old table or nightstand, cleaned and dried Unwanted CDs and DVDs Hot glue gun and glue sticks Heavy-duty scissors Instructions Gather enough old CDs and DVDs to cover the surface you wish to turn into a mosaic. Using heavy-duty scissors, carefully cut the CDs and DVDs into small pieces of varying angular shapes. Be sure the shapes are similar in size and no larger than about an inch if measured across in any direction. Using the hot glue gun, put a small dot of glue on the back of a piece of CD/DVD and stick it to your table/nightstand. Repeat this step with each piece until the surface is covered to your liking. Allow the glue to dry then delight in your new, one-of-a-kind, sparkly mosaic piece of furniture. Retractable Sidewalk Chalk If your children have ever come inside with hands covered in chalk dust after using the driveway as a canvas for racecar tracks, rainbows, and unicorns, you’ll appreciate these retractable chalk holders for creating their masterpieces. Materials 4 empty retractable stick deodorant containers, cleaned and dried 1 tablespoon coconut oil 4 cups plaster of paris 1 large bowl or bucket (dedicated to crafting — not food items) 4 mason jars (dedicated to crafting — not food items) Food coloring (colors of your choice) Instructions Use your fingers to apply coconut oil to the inside of each deodorant container to keep the chalk from sticking. Be sure to smooth out any clumps. In the large bowl/bucket, prepare the 4 cups of plaster according to the package’s instructions. Separate the plaster into the four jars, add a few drops of your choice of food coloring to each mixture, and stir well. Pour each mixture into a separate empty deodorant applicator. The plaster will harden in less than an hour, but let it cure at least 8 hours before using. Wine Bottle Tiki Torch This project will not only add some lovely ambiance to your next intimate outdoor gathering, but it will also help repel mosquitos. While lit, be careful to place the bottle on a stable, flat surface; do not leave it unattended; and be sure to keep out of reach of children. Materials Empty wine bottle, cleaned with label removed 2-3 cups small gravel 12 ounces of tiki torch oil 5/8-inch male metal hose mender Teflon tape Ball of twine Hot glue gun and glue sticks Tiki torch replacement wick Instructions Use the hot glue gun to adhere a 4-inch decorative section of twine to the wine bottle, as you wind it around the middle portion of the glass. Fill half of the bottle with gravel to help stabilize it. Fill one-third of the bottle with tiki torch oil. To gauge the amount, the oil should not reach the neck of the bottle when poured on top of the gravel. Wrap the thinner end of the mender with enough Teflon tape to allow it to fit snuggly in the bottle’s opening, but not so tight that you can’t remove it when needed. Thread the wick through the mender and place it inside the bottle. The thicker part of the mender and the top of the wick should be sticking out of the bottle. Light the wick and enjoy.