So I have a lot of 'junk' downstairs--stuff I'm saving because I'm sure I can make something with it, whether it's empty chip bags or that cute cardboard box I just know I can turn into a journal, it all has a purpose beyond going into the landfill.
I think most people think of the 3 'Rs' as Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, or possibly even forget about the other two 'Rs'. Reduce is actually the first 'R' followed by Reuse and then Recycle, so really, we ought to reduce first, then if that isn't possible, reuse the item and finally recycle. It's pretty amazing how much is thrown away that can be turned into something useful. I'm all for recycled crafts, but that will eventually get thrown out, so I think it's better to upcycle an item into something useful.
Christmas is a good time for this, as reusing things like junk mail for gift tags (have you seen the cool patters on the inside of the envelopes your bills come in?) is pretty hot. I don't think this is a fad that's going to die out anytime soon, although it took something like 30 years to catch on in the mainstream!
I have a few projects in the works and will post pictures when they are finished.
What's in your recycle bin that you can give a new life? Look with a fresh eye and you might be surprised!