Christine A Howard

Teaching the Beauty of Repurposed Art in Your Homeschool

Recently, my high school son worked on a school project regarding Christmas trees.  He sought out to determine which Christmas tree was better for both the environment and the American economy.  I was pretty surprised to learn that the real Christmas tree won in both departments.  We happen to have an artificial Christmas tree in part because I thought it was more environmentally friendly.  What my son found, is that it takes over 500 years for the plastic to decompose, leaching bad chemicals into the Earth.  This sparked a desire to teach my younger kids about finding ways to repurpose plastic.

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Why Repurpose?

Most of our plastic today can be recycled, which is great.  But, why not find a way to reuse the items into something new?  Not only are you saving the planet, but you are saving your pocketbook too. You may want to think about items that you purchase on a regular basis, to see if you can find a repurpose project for them.

For us, that item is milk jugs.  We love milk in our house.  I mean, we really love it.  We typically go through six gallons of the stuff every week.  Now we do our duty and throw those containers in the recycle bin like good citizens.  But, since we have so many, it only makes sense to repurpose some of them into other things.  But how?  That is where the library is a wonderful place.

Teaching the Beauty of Repurposed Art in Your Homeschool

Fun Things to do with Milk Jugs

Marne Ventura must also be someone who loves to repurpose things, because she wrote the book, Fun Things to do with Milk Jugs.  We were looking around our local library, and there on the cover, it showed a milk jug planter.  This sparked our interest, as two of my kids are in the plant project through 4-H.  What better way to repurpose milk jugs than as planters, right?

There are a number of fun projects in this book that we would love to try, including:

  • The Bird Feeder
  • The Aquarium
  • The Piggy Bank

If these projects sound fun, you can check your local library.  If they don’t have it, you can always find it at everyone’s favorite online store Amazon.  The link is below to make it easier to find.

How We Made Our Planters

We took the idea in the book and made it our own.  My kids did not like the bow on top of the planter, so we decided to cut out the cap, and make the opening just a bit wider.  It really is a simple project though.

repurposing a milk jug into a planter

  • Clean an empty gallon milk or water container (water containers don’t have indents)
  • Cut a large enough opening in the jug to allow a plant inside.
  • Decorate the jug with either acrylic paint or permanent markers.

repurposing a milk jug into a planter

  • Fill with soil that is good for house plants.
  • Add your plant.

repurposing a milk jug into a planter

  • Place the planter in sunlight and water as necessary.
  • If you intend to hang your planter, you may want to add a string.

repurposing a milk jug into a planter

Our kids plan to take these to the fair.  Its awesome that they will be able to repurpose some of our milk jugs and get a project for the fair besides.  What will you repurpose in your house?

Teaching your kids to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle            Turning your garbage into something purposeful

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