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Reduce Holiday Waste with Repurposed Cereal Boxes


 In a creative effort to reduce waste Mrs. Potter's class at RiverHomeLink, a K-12 school in Battleground, had a blast making holiday gift bags out of cereal boxes! Every action you take to reduce waste truly adds up to make a difference. Every day the average American generates 4.9 pounds of trash. This year let's see how we can reduce waste in our homes. A fun way to get the whole house involved is to start a monthly challenge with household members to see if you can reduce your waste month to month. You can keep a data sheet of how many bags or pounds of trash you take out. Pounds can be collected by a household scale; you simply place the bin on the scale before taking it out. Another option is to count the number of bags and keep a tally board on the fridge. It would be so interesting to compare data from the rest of the year to compare waste around the holidays! Want to get more creative? Weigh only what goes to the landfill. Repurposing items, proper recycling, donations, and behavior change (like switching to real plates for holiday gatherings) can reduce the amount of trash and don't count towards the weight or bags of trash collected.

If you're looking for one way to repurpose items and reduce waste, try making Mrs. Potter's holiday gift bags using cereal boxes.

These boxes are made even more simple. Here's an example to get an idea of how they look before decorations are added

Here are the instructions

 Materials Needed:

Empty cereal box
Wrapping paper or decorative paper
Glue or double-sided tape
Hole punch (optional)
Ribbon or twine
Decorative elements (stickers, bows, etc.)
Examples of half size cereal box bags


1. Carefully open the seams of the cereal box and flatten it. Use a pair of scissors to cut along one of the sides, creating a rectangular sheet of cardboard.

2. Decide on the size of your gift bag and use a ruler to measure and mark the dimensions on the cardboard. Cut out the rectangular piece, keeping the size suitable for your gift.

3. Place the cut cardboard piece on the reverse side of the wrapping paper. Leave enough extra paper around the edges to fold over. Cut the wrapping paper to size.

4. Apply glue or double-sided tape to the reverse side of the cardboard. Carefully place the cardboard on the wrapping paper, ensuring it's centered. Press down to secure the wrapping paper in place.

5. Fold the edges of the wrapping paper over the cardboard and secure them with glue or tape. If there is excess paper at the corners, trim it to create neat folds.

6. With the wrapping paper securely attached, fold the cardboard into the shape of a bag, bringing the shorter edges together. Adjust the size of the bag according to the depth you want.

7. Apply glue or tape to the edges of the bag where they meet. Press them together firmly to secure the sides of the bag. Hold them in place until the glue dries.

8. To create a flat bottom for the bag, open up the bottom of the bag and press the sides flat. Flatten the triangular flaps created by this process.

9. Cut a piece of cardboard to fit the bottom of the bag. Glue or tape it in place to reinforce and stabilize the bag's bottom.

10.  If you want to add handles, cut two strips of cardboard to create handles. Attach them to the inside of the bag using glue or tape. Ensure they are securely fastened.

11. Add festive decorations to your gift bag. You can use stickers, bows, or other embellishments to personalize it.

12. Punch holes near the top edges of the bag and thread a ribbon or twine through them to create handles or a closure. Tie the ends securely.

Your homemade holiday gift bag is now ready to use. It's a unique and eco-friendly way to present your gifts with a personal touch. We would love to hear back from you and how your holiday waste reduction goes! Let us know if you started a household waste challenge or tried this gift bag craft. Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday!
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