The flurry of preparation before the holiday, seasonal décor and even the gifts themselves yield a fair number of leftovers and potential trash. Before you throw things away, though, take a fresh new look at holiday leftovers and find new ways to recycle and use these pieces in your classroom. You’ll not only be helping the environment, you’ll be saving money as well, since you won’t have to purchase these pieces again the next time around.
Whether you save them, adapt them to a different holiday or use in an Earth Day project, you can put your holiday leftovers to good use this year. Here’s how to sort and store your items until you need them:
Sort Leftovers by Color
Gift wrap, decorative embellishments and other pieces become far less “Christmas” when you separate them by color. If you have a lot of Christmas craft supplies, you can use the red items for Valentine’s Day crafting and the green for spring or St. Patrick’s Day. Sorting your leftovers by color lets you see them in a whole new way and get extra mileage out of your purchases. Craft foam, paper, glitter and other items are easy to re-use if you store them by color, not holiday.
Sort Leftovers by Material
Those cardboard boxes, bubble wrap and other pieces left behind after the winter holidays can be given a whole new life on Earth Day or whenever you want to do a craft or project using recyclables. Store the items that space allows and you’ll have some built in stock to choose from for holidays and projects occurring later in the year. We’ve got a great collection of inspirational ideas for recycling crafts and projects for the classroom that could help you put your items to good use.
Save for Next Year
This year’s holiday gift cards and wrap can become next year’s crafty inspiration Since most Christmas and Hanukah themed items are received on or around the Holiday, you won’t be able to effectively reuse them this year. Stash them away for next year and use them to create seasonal items and crafts with your class. This approach works well with pieces that are very obviously holiday and feature Santa, nativity scenes or dreidels.
Recycling leftover holiday items sets a great green example for your students – and allows you to save money, too. We’re here to help you prepare for the new year and have plenty of pieces you can use with your holiday leftovers to create new projects and decorations for the classroom.
Check out our Recycled Art Projects board on Pinterest for more great ideas!