Thursday, December 11, 2014

What Green Things Can You Do With Kids This Holiday?

Make Kids A Big Part of Holiday Decorating, 

Preparation and Gift Giving  

Get kids involved!  Whether you are preparing a dish to bring to a friends house, decorating the tree or bringing a gift to grandparents, kids can pitch in. It makes it more memorable and meaningful.  Go a step further and teach them to be green: Try to incorporate earth friendly ingredients or recycled as well as reusable items.
Here are some small ideas that will make a big difference for your kids this holiday:

  • Have the kids make gifts for one and other or help you.They will learn the joy of gift giving as well as learn new skills! 
  • Make cards from craft supplies or make cards from last year’s cards and wrap.
  • Make cards from homemade paper and envelopes
  • Make homemade cookies or breads and decorate them or fun food art
  • Grow plants or herbs from seeds starting early!
  • Plant small seedlings in hand painted pots or recycled pots
  • Make ornaments from paper mache or lint clay and hand paint them (See for the best paper mache recipes ever including lint dryer clay and play clay).
  • Make origami ornaments
  • Print gift wrap, using nontoxic paints and dyes on recycled (and recyclable) craft paper. Use potato prints or rubber stamps.
  • Kids love making a good old-fashioned popcorn balls or popcorn tinsel and it can be yummy!
  • A no cost solution: Have them write a poem or story and illustrate it! Use a recycled frame, home made frame and frame it!
  • Make boxes for their gifts from cereal boxes and other cardboard
  • Make gift wrap using natural materials and other materials
  • Dry flowers a great way to extend the garden
  • Lastly, make one of these Planetpals ornaments for your home or tree. It's got an eco friendly theme. Free Download to print and assemble:
Planetpals Exclusive Holiday Crafts:
Make a Christ
Exclusive Planetpals card. Print and play, cut and color.

Make a Holiday Ornament: 
Exclusive Planetpals "Seasons greenings" print, cut, paste tree ornament

Make Your Own Box Ornament:
Exclusive Planetpals Print, Design, Cut, Hang this square box shaped ornament for any holiday!

Japanese Origami STAR Ornament
Exclusive Planetpals Learn about the Japanese art of paper folding. Make an Origami star ornament from paper squares. Make one for your tree, or several to decorate your house or presents!

Happy Holidays from your Pals at!
For more ideas before and after the holiday see the green holidays page 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Make Your Own Gift Boxes From Recycled Materials

DIY for Every Occasion Plus Free Patterns to Download

One way to wrap up the holiday greener is to make your own gift boxes.  You can make boxes from recycled materials such as old cereal boxes, oatmeal tubes, and other food containers just by turning them inside out.  It's a good way to renew them.
Download these simple patterns from Planetpals.  Then, once you make your box, you can decorate it.  Leave it natural and decorate with twine and other natural items such as pine cones, or decorate by  painting the box or glueing images.
However you wrap your gifts, they are sure to be conversation pieces!
Happy GREENER Holiday from Planetpals :) /

Let it Snow Activities For The Kid in Everyone

Snow Day.  SNOW MUCH FUN! 

the best snowy day ways to play on the planet

What snowy thing can you do? Our best collection of fun activities to take the chill out of that snowstorm.

Snow many things you can do!  Use these activities las esson plans by combining a learning experience with them or go outside and just have some cool fun.  Moms with little kids can bring some activities inside.  Snow much fun:

Snow Painting a snow cool craft: 
snow painting is loads of fun!

Snow Art Draw anywhere!  Make simple designs or complicated ones.

Build a Snowman. See these 10 cool and crazy ideas. Make a small one inside or a big one outside. Use recycled materials and make it greener!
Make a Snow Sculpture. Now that's arty! Learn about a famous artist/sculptor at the same time!
Snow Circles big or small.  You have heard of Crop circles--try Snow circles 
Snow food like Snow Dessert. Sprinkle some fun! My mom used to make these! Here are some safe ways to do it , a snow ice cream recipe (using snow) and  list of snow theme recipes (not using snow).

Snow Experiments will stops brain freeze and get creativity flowing: 
Construct a snow chair and rest a while.

 Snow many Snow Angels are possible just flap your wings:

Hours of fun for the entire clan: or  Make a Snow Hideout or Snow Fort remember to go home even if you are hving a cool time! 

Snow sledding, tubing, taboganning make downhill a thrill:

Snow Skiing uphill, downhill all day: 
Snow Shoeing - Take a walk on the wild side:
Make an Igloo a cool place to play and learn about Eskimos and Inuit Indians:
Snow Ball Fight.  That's right.  Be nice! 
Indoor or out you can have snow much fun!  Be creative..take big projects inside until the snow melts. (Small projects can go in the freezer). 
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Monday, December 8, 2014

The 4 R's of Gift Wrapping - Wrap Gifts The Recycled Way

The 4 R's of Gift Wrapping

One way to have a greener holiday is to wrap all your gifts in a greener way! All you have to do is think out of the BOX and onto the wrap to find new ways to use old materials to bring new life to your gifts.

It's a great family project and one that will put a special meaning to home made and add extra love to your holiday giving. And remember, you can taylor make the wrap to the gift or to the person, such as maps for men or antique scarfs for antique lovers.

Earthman says be green with your gift wrap!

The 4 R's of Gift Wrapping:

Reduce, reuse, recycle, renew are terms we now know well. How do we apply them to packaging and giftwrap?
Here are some inventive and unique ideas for either creating your own wrapping papers or using materials you have on hand to decorate presents and wrap up the holiday season in new ways:

  • Use fabric and fabric scraps as you would paper.
  • Wrap a gift in a poster or full-page magazine photo. 
  • Wallpaper makes a unique and sturdy gift wrap. 
  • Use old sheet music or old calendar pages as wrapping paper. 
  • Use kids' drawings or coloring book pages to wrap smaller gifts.
  • Wrap gifts for family in your kids schoolwork... particularly those A's!
  • Scarves, tea towels, napkins, or handkerchiefs also make wonderful fabric wraps. The wrap becomes a gift, too! 
  • If you are giving an antique or vintage gift-use a vintage box, towel or scarf to wrap it!
  • Use colorful but outdated maps as wrapping paper. 
  • Newspaper is great for larger gifts and comic pages are colorful!
  • Use your practice paintings as wrap!  Particularly calligraphy, handwriting or watercolor looks nice.
  • Cut out colorful magazine pictures and glue them on plain papers with craft glue, or make cutouts and glue them on.
  • Reuse paper from last year...cover boxes with it!
  • Use handmade papers made from paper scraps-see: Make Your Own Paper Instructions
  • Plain brown paper becomes an excellent base for any number of homemade paper techniques. 
  • Plain white paper on rolls (butcher's wrap works well) can become a great base for decorative techniques
  • Use coffee cans, oatmeal boxes, kleenex boxes, chinese food containers, tin cans or cereal boxes covered creatively.
  • Make boxes from cereal, food boxes, paper and cardboard. Instructions to make boxes
  • Use store shopping bags and add drawings or decoration.
  • Stamp plain paper with colored ink or scribble and draw with paint pens 
Comic Strip Gift Wrap.  Reuse the News.
  • Decorate with used holiday stamps and greeting cards!
  • Instead of bows decorate with natural items such as pine cones and pine sprigs.
  • Instead of trimmings use buttons and beads.
  • Use an ornament or toy instead of a bow.
  • Instead of ribbon use twine.
  • Fold an origami object instead of a bow--such as an origami star
  • Make your own name gift tags with old cards or scraps of wrap. 
Lastly why not try this great idea at your next gift giving event!  Wrap a big box in tap and empty the wrappings into it...then it's ready to go to the recycle or trash.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Learn how you can to SAVE MONEY and SAVE EARTH This Holiday!

Gift Giving, Wrapping, Cards, Trees, Lights, For Family and Kids, Before and After The Holiday Ideas


Saving money and the planet for the holidays can be easier with these simple tips!

These ideas and suggestions are just the beginning of things you
can do for your pocket and Mother Earth. The biggest step of all is simply to cut
down on the amount of things -- presents, decorations, and just
plain "stuff" -- you buy.
That's hard during the holidays. So, to help you cut down where you can, we have compiled one of the best list of tips on earth:

Gift Giving:

*Make it! Have a talent for baking, crocheting, knitting, artwork. stained glass or wood    crafts? What could be nicer than a scarf on ones favorite color made by you?
* Choose or make gifts that are practical and consist of environmentally friendly materials.
* Make a gift basket tailored to the recipient. Home made cookie mix and baking pan, A lovely plant and garden tools, Vintage candlestick and candles. Be creative!
* Instead of exchanging unwanted items with coworkers or extended family, suggest donating to a charity as a group.
*Have a good old-fashioned Yankee swap, exchanging unused items that might be useful to someone else! Think about doing a theme—for instance of you all love books do a book swap.
*Give the gift of an heirloom! Does a niece or a friend admire your mother’s old cookie jar or uncle al’s old trinket box? Pass it on! Put a treat inside!


* Use recycled or recyclable materials for packaging gifts; reuse a nice tin, box or gift bag
* Use your newspaper's comic section as a cheery, bright, and recyclable wrapping.
* Select uncoated giftwrap that can be recycled and/or burned safely.
* Make gift tags from small pieces of the existing wrap or from old holiday cards.


* Many people still enjoy sending and receiving holiday greetings. Consider cutting back your list, choosing cards made of recycled materials, or even buying them from a charity that benefits the environment.
* If your friends are Web-savvy, skip the Post Office altogether and send cards via email.


* Consider a synthetic tree or wreath that can be used year after year.
* Buy a potted tree with roots that can be planted after the holidays
* Decorate with recyclable, compostable, or bird-friendly materials
* Instead of buying new ornaments use family heirlooms or buy them in thrift store.


* Trade in your energy guzzling lights for the newer energy saving lights
* Use less lights overall
* Use smaller lights
* Light more candles (but please be careful!)

With Kids:

Get kids involved! Have the kids make gifts for one and other or help you.
They will learn the joy of gift giving as well as learn new skills! Try to incorporate earth-friendly ingredients or recycled as well as reusable items.

* Make cards from craft supplies or make cards from last year’s cards and wrap.
* Make homemade cookies or breads and decorate them
* Grow plants or herbs from seeds starting early!
* Plant small seedlings in hand painted pots or recycled pots
* Make ornaments from paper mache and hand paint them (See for the best paper mache recipes ever including lint dryer clay).
* Make origami ornaments
* Print gift wrap, using nontoxic paints on recycled (and recyclable) craft paper. Use potato prints or rubber stamps.
* Kids love making a good old-fashioned popcorn balls or popcorn tinsel and it can be yummy!
* A no cost solution: Have them write a poem or story and illustrate it! Use a recycled frame and frame it!

After The Holidays:

What you do with your tree, wreaths, ornaments and wrap after the holidays is as important as how you decorate for the holidays.

* MULCH: If you have use of a shredder: Mulch the trees into chips that can be used for landscaping. Many towns will have the sanitation department pick up and mulch trees.
* When tossing decorative trees, wreaths and plants, Be sure to remove all decorations, including tinsel, before you recycle your tree.
* If you live in a nice climate, plant that Poinsettia, don’t toss it!
* Recycle those gift bags and Christmas cards by putting them away and reusing them next year…or giving them to someone who will.
* Have left over decorations, boxes wrap or unwanted gifts? Keep on giving by donating them to a recycle center, swap shop,, or a thrift store.
* Donate used cards to St. Judes who reuses them to produce new cards,
* Flatten all gift boxes, packaging and cartons and dispose of by recycling. If you are not sure what you can recycle…contact your town.
* Don’t know what to do with it? Post it on Craigslist or Freecycle for free. Someone else might have the perfect use!

For more tips and fun facts about earth consult