Maria and Sanyi's Blog

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Messzelátó Association organized an Environment Protection Day on the 15th December 2012, on the request of Budapest Esély Nonprofit Kft..

The program was built up of two sessions. The theme of the first session was about sustainability and daily consumption. The facilitators raised the participants’ awarness about contemporary global, social and environmental challenges with thinking games, games that enpowered discussion and discussion groups.

After lunch we prepared a series of creative workshops, where the participants could choose from four workshops and could create their own Christmas gifts: Notebook from waste materials; Recycled Christmas tree, decorations and wrapping techniques; Creating jewelries from paper and recycled materials; Making natural Lip balm in PET bottle cap containers. 

It was a really large group, we had a lot of fun and hopefully all participants enjoyed it! 


Filed under sustainability environmental challenges Environment awareness raising workshops recycle lip balm PET bottle

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Messzelátó Ajándékgyár/ Gift Factory

Early December 2012 Messzelátó started a series of 3 workshops, with the focus on creating gifts, decorations and other fun stuff for Christmas from recycled, upcycled materials. We’ve been brainstorming on this project and collecting ideas since the beginning of November. I really enjoyed coordinating this little project, it was a lot of fun and I also learned a lot of new things and was able to use my creativity. 

The first one was held on the 4th of December with the main focus on Advent preparations. The main superstars of the workshop were notebooks and Advent calendars. Participants were learning bookbinding techniques and learned how to make Advent calendar from toiletpaper rolls and from origami boxes made of old newspapers.


Bookbinding - notebook

The second workshop, 10th of December, participants learned how to make jewelries and toys from waste materials. Some people became great in creating jewelries from plastic materials, others became experts in the creation of boardgames or making small teddybears from gloves.

Making jewelries

Making boardgames

At the last Gift Factory workshop, on 17th of December, we created Christmas trees and Christmas decorations made of paper (mainly old magazines and newspapers) 

Christmas decorations from magazines

Christmas tree with the decorations

This Christmas GiftFactory was hopefully not the last one @ Messzelátó and hope the new volunteers will also have the chance to organize such a thing :)


Filed under Christmas recycle upcycle recycle plastic bottles boardgames jewelry

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Recycle your Christmas rubbish

So another holiday season has passed by - gifts given and unwrapped, food eaten and your tree has probably been taken down by now.

Hopefully you’ve had a reasonably green Xmas by crafting, upcycling or regifting your presents and then following our tips on alternative present wrapping. But what to do with your leftover greetings cards, wrapping paper and, if you had a real one, Christmas tree?

Greetings Cards

Don’t just throw them out! As long as you have somewhere to store them, there are loads of ways to re-use them throughout the year and during the next holiday season. Why not spend the dark and dreary January and February evenings making them into postcards, gifts tags, gift bags and decorations for next year?

Easiest of all - cut off the front part of the card (the part with the pretty picture on it) and use the other side as a postcard to write your holiday message on next year.

Gift tags are also super easy, all you need is an old card with a nice design and some ribbon, thread or string. Cutting the edges with shearing scissors or into interesting shapes also looks great. Then punch a hole and put the ribbon through. Voila!

Left over cards can also be made into decorations like garlands, baubles or this awesome wreath.

Anything else left over can normally be recycled like normal paper, or even put into your compost bin. And don’t forget to keep the envelopes to re-use throughout the year or as scrap paper.

Wrapping paper

Wrapping paper is harder to recycle in your normal recycling bin as it’s often shiny, glittery or made of plastic, so check before you throw it out.

The best thing to do, if it’s still in one or two pieces is keep it and use it to wrap a present for someone else next year. However, if it’s completely fallen to pieces shredding it and using it as stuffing for packages or furniture bags. Or why not use scraps to make paper beads or bowls.

Christmas trees

Ideally you had an articifcial, recycled or potted Christmas tree which is now safely stored back up in the loft or replanted in your garden. But if not, what should you do with the, now probably pretty dead-looking, fir tree that’s been in your house for the last couple of weeks?

Most cities have a facility where you can take your tree to be recycled which is then normally turned into mulch for local parks and woodland, or sometimes you can even take it home for your own garden. Ask your local authorities about the services in your area.

If you compost at home, fir trees can be chopped up or shredded and added to your compost bin - just make sure you take all of the decorations and lights off first.

Or if you have a garden, why not use your tree as a new habitat for birds? You’ll need to support the tree with stakes or a stand, or stand it against a garage or shed. Adding a pine cone bird feeder will really attract those song birds.

If you’re unlucky enough to not have any local recycling facilities or a garden for your tree, you could always donate it to a farm or chop it up to use as firewood.

Whatever you do with it, chucking it out onto the street with the rest of your trash is the worst option imagineable.

Filed under christmas recycling recycle reuse upcycle crafting greetings cards Christmas trees gift tags wrapping wreath