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Recycling for Fun and Profit

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Ruth Brown
Ruth Brown

One of the philosophies of frugal living is eliminating waste.  Why buy something when you have the materials and the skills to make it yourself (or have your kids make it, instead of watching tv!)?

Personally, I have not bought gift-wrapping paper in years.   We have a large roll of brown paper at home and all presents – birthdays, mothers/fathers day and Christmas are wrapped in brown paper.  I then decorate it with bows/ribbons from the $2 shop.  I’ve been doing it for so long now, I don’t know if it would seem strange to others – my family don’t seem to mind.   (When I was a kid, my father used to wrap our presents in newspaper - it did seem a little weird, but then it was what was on the inside the really counted!)

1. When I receive a present, I save the gift-wrapping paper for re-use.  However, if for some reason the paper has been torn, you can still re-use it by making a colourful gift bow out of it.  You’ll find the instructions at as well of a lot of other great ideas.

2. Old Cereal Boxes make great magazine holders.  Simply cut off the lid, with the front of the box facing you, cut diagonally from the top right corner down to point roughly 4 inches from the bottom.  Turn the box around to the back and cut from the top left corner down to that same 4 inch point, then snip from one bottom point to the other.  Cover the outside of the box with brown paper, or your favourite magazine covers and you’ve got yourself a magazine holder.

3. Recycling magazines.  Yes, you could put your old magazines straight into the recycling bin, you could also turn them into wastebaskets (, pen holders, hat boxes – let your imagination run wild!

4. CD Cases.  Put a magnetic strip on the back of the case and insert your favourite photo in the front cover to create a home-made photo fridge magnet.  Make your own desk calendar / quote of the day and slip it into the front cover, just by opening the case it will stand on it’s own.

As always, this is just the tip of the iceberg, it depends how much time and energy you have.  But they’re not just a great way to eliminate waste, they can also be great fun.

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