STEMtastic: Recycling Christmas Items!
(Kirsty Bertenshaw of STEMtastic has kindly provided us with some novel ways to deal with our left Christmas items!)
Once Christmas is over, decorations need to be taken down and there is usually a substantial amount of waste that just ends up in the bin. However, these leftover items and well used decorations can provide inspiration. So, before you pack up and throw away, have a look and see what you can save!
Glittery or shiny foil wrapping paper cannot be recycled by local authorities. Instead, these can be used to line worn bookshelves or drawers. Other ideas could be to add them to the craft bag, use them as book covers or use the bag as scrap drawing paper. Or, you could or even make a “wall of love” where each family member can record what they love about each other.
Plastic baubles can’t be recycled, but scuffed or chipped paint doesn’t mean these no longer have a use! Spherical baubles can be used in science models as “particles” to model the arrangement of particles in solids, liquids and gases, or model an atom.
Different sized baubles can even be used to make solar system mobiles when painted- a cheap and homemade way to make a model planet!
Or wrap them in crumpled foil (shiny side out) and hang them on curtain rails as homemade mini mirror balls, reflecting the sunlight across the room.
Mince pie foil trays
A washed and dried mince pie foil tray can be used to make an old-fashioned radiator spinner that can demonstrate convection currents. Firstly, flatten the tray slightly and then cut the folded areas that made up the sides into fins/ blades but slicing approximately six times towards the circle that was the bottom of the tray. Fold these fins slightly so they are tilted like blades on a fan. find the centre of the circle and poke it with an unfolded paper clip to make an indentation but not a hole. Twist the other side of the paper clip into a curved shape to either fit over a radiator, or a rounded shape to place into a ball of blue tack and stick on a radiator. balance the foil tray onto the pointed end of the paper clip, using the indentation as a pivot point. The tray should spin with the movement of hot air! Don’t leave these unattended though as they can get very hot and blue tack can melt.