Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reusable Celebrations

I have been working in my daughter's school as the resident Master Recycler teaching classes about recycling. One lesson I will teach will be about durable vs. disposable goods and help the class put together a reusable party pack. This pack will be a tote filled with reusable plates, cups, utensils, cloth napkins and a reusable celebration banner. The idea is that the classes will use durable goods for their class celebrations instead of disposable items that will go to the landfill. Imagine how much waste will be diverted if all classes used durable goods for all of their parties!

I love the idea of presenting the classes with these Reusable Party Packs, but I wanted the kids to take more ownership in the project than just being the recipient of a tote full of items. I arranged for an afternoon in my daughter's 2nd grade class to teach a lesson and work with the students to create a reusable celebration banner that could be used at all parties. I wanted it made from recycled materials and be versatile enough to use throughout the year, so I can up with this mosaic banner made from cereal boxes and magazine scraps. The students worked in small groups and had the task of creating a letter for the banner. While the class was working hard ripping out colorful magazine pages for their mosaics, student came to me 2 at a time to work on making a cloth napkin. I brought my serger into the classroom along with fabric donated by the students. Each student picked out a piece of fabric and traced a 12"x12" square, then handed it to me to serge the edges. The kids were fascinated by the serger and I had fun teaching them how the machine worked. They were all excited about the professional looking cloth napkin that was created and took ownership in the specific napkin they made. Many students wanted to make more than one and were pleased to be asked to help with more napkins for the students that were absent or guests that may come to the party.

We have also made a happy birthday banner that hangs in the dining room during each family birthday we celebrate in our home.

1 comment:

klyn said...

I love the idea of the reusable party pack! This is a great way to show the kids how to reuse and recycle. So many times, they are told to reuse and recycle or use up, but often they aren't getting specifics on what that may look like. Providing an example could get them to ask about using real plates at home instead of paper, to use a cup or reusable water bottle instead of asking for a single serve drink, or to ask why they can't use cloth napkins at home, too. ...and because it takes away the guilt of the person who sends treats, but forgets to send anything to serve them on! Not that I have ever done that! Ahem.

You are so generous and thoughtful! I am so proud of all that you do! Oh, and I love the banner idea and am using it with my middle shcool girls to make a Thanksgiving banner! :)