Photo by Pamela Callaway on Unsplash

For the past few years, environmental advocates and companies around the world have tried to reduce plastic consumption and plastic production because of its harmful impact on the Earth. Aluminum cans seem to be a good alternative for packaging beverages and food because they save 95% of energy used when recycled, yet they’re more likely to end up in landfills.

Sponsored by Central Presbyterian Church of Kansas City, Re.Use.Full and Scraps KC teamed up to lead our first in-person community workshop July 10, 2021.

Our workshop was all about finding creative ways to use our leftover tin cans right at home! Sometimes what can be recycled is best re-used for another purpose!

Many parents and their children visited us in Scrap KC’s workshop to turn tin cans into insect hotels or wind socks!

Image of can wrapped in decoration
Image of a hand holding up a tin can stuffed with straws and decorated

Our five-star insect hotels are tin cans stuffed with paper straws! The packed straws resemble honeycomb and may attract bees to visit and make honey. The key is the hotels must be in a protected environment and resemble nature as much as possible. (You may not have much luck putting these out on a busy street!) Then we decorate them with a variety of arts and crafts supplies from Scraps KC’s workshop: ribbons, stickers, buttons, stencils, paints, etc. If you have a balcony, patio, front porch, or even a nice garden, you can hang these hotels up.

Wind socks are just as useful as insect hotels. They show us the speed and direction the wind is going but they’re also great craft projects to do with the entire family and great decorations for your outdoor space. The key: bring your creativity and as many arts and crafts supplies as you can!

We would like to thank Scraps KC for hosting us in their wonderful workshop space! Scraps KC is one of our many great charity partners whom you can donate your gently used items to through the Re.Use.Full website! Scraps KC accepts used or excess supplies and materials and sells them as useful crafts to teachers, church members, makerspaces aficionados, and artists.

Scraps KC not only sells useful craft items, they also have an awesome program for repurposing plastics. As seen as above, we can turn used plastics into useful, and beautiful, items like letters! However, not all plastics are the same, and some items come with multiple kinds of materials. For example, Scraps KC is trying to find ways to reuse gift cards that have multiple kinds of materials, not just plastic.

If you have plastics and want to help the environment, consider connecting with Scraps KC through Re.Use.Full! A personal relationship with a great charitable organization awaits!

Image of four people smiling standing against an orange wall
A few members of the Re.Use.Full Team! From left to right: Leslie Scott, Antonio Byrd, Bryan Richlinski, and Bekah Swank