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  • Ash, Lead Naturalist

Reusable Reads And Signs of Fall Hike!

Written By: Ashley Goldbeck


Introduction:

The waste we produce and how we choose to dispose of it, affects our environment. This includes the air, water, land, plants, animals and even man-made things. And since we need a healthy environment for our health and happiness, it’s important to understand effective waste management. That goes for the health and happiness of our plants and animals too!


Reusing household items such as paper bags is not only environmentally friendly but fun too! Today we will be reusing paper bags to make a nature journal that is perfect for hikes or a four season storybook where you can share your favorite things about spring, summer, fall and winter! Let your imagination take control with this reusable read of your very own!


The Importance and Benefits of Reduce, Reuse and Recycling:

· It decreases the amount of waste on the planet and preserves natural resources by maintaining space and cutting down on landfills

· It decreases consumption of new materials and saves energy

· It protects our animals and plants from being exposed to pollution that comes from production and undesired items being tossed carelessly into the water and on land

· It saves you money

· It gives you a chance to find your creative side!


Reusable Reads Craft:

On average, each family brings home 1,000 bags each year and the majority of them end up in a landfill after a single use. That means we are cutting countless trees down and using vast amounts of energy to produce bags that are being used for only a matter of minutes before they are tossed. Instead, try reusing paper bags to make a nature journal or four-season storybook that can create lasting memories for years to come.

Materials Needed:

· 3 paper bags

· Scissors

· Colorful construction paper

· Glue

· Hole Punch

· Yarn or string to tie book together

· Crayons, markers, colored pencils, glitter, beads, feathers, etc. for decoration


The Following Steps Will Guide You Along:


1) Grab three paper bags (either large grocery sized paper bags for a bigger book or lunch sized bags for a smaller sized book)


2) Stack three paper bags on top of each other (since one end of each bag is open and one end is closed, alternate the directions of the bags when you stack them so that you have little storage pockets throughout your book for keeping treasured items in)


3) Once stacked on top of one another, fold the bags in half


4) Punch two holes along the middle seam of the smaller book (punch through all 3 paper bags at one time) or punch four holes along middle seam for the larger book


5) Thread ribbon or yarn through holes and tie in a knot in the middle


6) Cut construction paper into squares and glue into book to create colorful pages


7) Decorate your book however you like using crayons, markers, colored pencils, glitter, beads, feathers, etc!


*If you are making a four season story book it works perfectly to dedicate two pages for each season, and you can tuck your favorite items of each season into you’re built in pockets!


*If you are making a summer nature journal you may label your pages however you like and stuff items you collect on your outdoor adventures into your pockets!

Make it a Family Adventure!

Now that you have created your nature journal, head over to the park or your favorite outdoors sanctuary and search for signs of fall to fill your journal with! If you’re feeling lost and need some help, here are some signs to get you started!

· The air begins to feel crisp and cool

· Windy days become common

· The angle of the sun in the sky changes

· The days get noticeably shorter

· The leaves of trees begin to fall

· Autumn colors begin to appear

· Acorns, pinecones, and “helicopters” fall to the ground

· Grass doesn’t grow as fast

· Fall flowers such as Aster, Margarets, Goldenrod and Spider Lilies begin to bloom

· Fall harvest plants become ripe (pumpkins, apples, winter squash, almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc)

· Mushrooms and other fungi pop up everywhere

· Animals shed less and grow thicker fur

· Squirrels, blue jays, and other animal’s collect and gathering their winter stash.

· Birds begin to migrate south for the winter.

· Invertebrates such as butterflies and ladybugs begin to seek shelter

· Mammals that hibernate for the winter begin to build up their fat stores

· Animals such as bats, deer, and elk look for mates

· Your energy bill is lower as the air conditioner is needed less and less

· Football season begins!


Have fun and be sure to share your finds with us!

We love hearing from you!

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