Artful Answer This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   My family always has been into recycling and reducing our garbage as much as we can. But in my opinion the most important of the three R's is reusing. If you reuse garbage for a different purpose, you have eliminated the problem of waste altogether.

I'm a very creative person, and I always have been into art and the environment. But as every artist knows, supplies are not cheap, which is why I take what my family would normally throw away and turn it into a work of my creativity and art! Something I started doing a couple years ago was reusing cereal boxes, cracker boxes and anything else made from the same thin cardboard. I cut it up and make smaller boxes in the shapes of a heart or star or even a butterfly. Then, cutting pictures into strips from old magazines, I make paper mach" to cover them in bright colors. Last year I made boxes for all my friends as Christmas presents. Not only was it fun, but I saved a lot of money too.

I also cut the tops off empty soda cans and fill them with wax, making unique candles. I make my own paper from flyers and junk mail that turn an ordinary letter into something more fun to read. To go along with my recycled paper, I make envelopes from pages of magazines. I find an interesting ad or picture, fold the edges, and tape the sides to make an envelope, no extra postage required.

Other useful ideas: Clearly Canadian bottles make interesting candle holders; old calendar pictures make nice envelopes too; the Sunday comics make colorful wrapping paper; old toothbrushes can be boiled and bent into cool bracelets (not my idea, but still a good one); worn-out sneakers filled with plaster make different bookends; and even an empty plastic milk jug can be turned into an alternative bird feeder with a little creativity! I'm sure there are a million other things you could do with just about any type of garbage. All you need is your imagination. ^


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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