Chesnut Changers Upcycle and Recycle

At our last two ecology club meetings, Chesnut Changers talked about reducing waste and putting our pledge, “Reuse, Reduce, Recycle” into practice.

We welcomed special guests, Chesnut’s Recycling Team (sponsored by fifth grade teacher Timika Howard), who facilitated our first upcycling project. Their commitment to protecting the environment is serious and they set a tone of organized efficiency as we worked on our project.

First Recycling Drive:  Save Those Broken Crayons!

Chesnut Changers Want Your Broken Crayons!

Deposit Crayon Bits Here!

The Recycling Team and Chesnut Changers Ecology Club are partnering to introduce a series of recycling drives at Chesnut, to raise awareness about recyclable items that are normally trashed. Each of the three ecology club age groups decorated receptacles for upcoming crayon, battery and sneaker drives, with messages about recycling and reducing waste.

During the month of January, Chesnut students can deposit crayons in the large crayon receptacle inside the cafeteria, either in the morning before school or after dismissal.

Project 1: Cards to Ornaments

Before the holidays, we used greeting cards, cereal and cracker boxes to create hanging globes for ornaments, decoration or gifts. The kids did an amazing job, some even adding hanging elements inside the globes.   andrew's globesaniya globeAt-Home Action Icon canstockphoto2179142

At-Home Action: Paper Globes. See picture #3 and the “Globes How-To” section here to make your own.


You’ll need: scissors, hole punch, string/yarn, brads, any card stock or think cardboard (greeting cards, cereal boxes, etc.).

Project 2: Juice Boxes to Wallets

In yesterday’s ecology club meeting, we learned that “upcycling” is taking something considered garbage, and giving it new life as a different object. Students also examined why juice boxes and other composite cartons (like Tetra Pak) are rarely recyclable:  they are made of paper, plastic and aluminum layers that require a special machine to recycle. Because our county doesn’t accept composite cartons, we worked on a way to make them useful rather than throwing them in the trash.

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At-Home Action Icon canstockphoto2179142At-Home Action: Tetra Pak Wallets (juice boxes make mini-wallets). See this video tutorial to make your own. Note that the duct tape is optional, but recommended for durability.

You’ll need: scissors, duct tape, stick-on hook/loop, stickers (optional).

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