“Mom… My book report is due in a week, did you forget?” (I am not sure when HIS book report became MY problem, but…!) “No, honey, I have not forgotten about your book report. What do you have left to do?”
Jordan, our 8 year old, recently learned that my late father’s favorite bird was the hawk, so that’s the animal he chose to write about in his book report. We are planning to go to our local wildlife animal sanctuary this weekend to take a picture of Jordan in front of their hawks. He’s really excited for our trip to Busch Wildlife, the quaint local sanctuary less than 2 miles from our house.
When we normally visit the sanctuary, the kids bring their spare change to donate in the collection boxes throughout the park. Jordan, this time, wants to make a “sizable” donation to the aviary where they have different birds of prey.
We talk about various ways he can earn money for the donation. My favorite “chore” is when I catch the older kids reading to the younger ones, I pay 2 quarters for that – just because it’s such a sweet moment.
Jordan decides to MAKE a piggy bank to save his spare change and any allowances he earns throughout the week. He recently learned about Earth month at school and they discussed ways to reuse common household items instead of buying new things. I laugh to myself as he’s telling me his plans for making a piggy bank. “Mama, it’s not a joke, please stop laughing at me.”
I quickly explain; “Honey, you remind me so much of my dad. He always thought of new ways to reuse things to protect the planet and the environment.
One year, he decided to use old orange juice cartons to store our Christmas ornaments. His idea was creative and worked great… until the next year when we pulled the Christmas ornaments down from the attic. He didn’t properly clean and dry the orange juice cartons before he filled them with ornaments, so our ornaments smelled like fermented orange juice – not exactly a great Christmas scent.”
Jordan and I laugh at story about my dad. We then decide to head to Target for a few groceries.
Jordan comes along because he wants to get inspiration for his DIY piggy bank. As we walk out the door, my husband catches us.
My heart immediately sinks… “oh no – will he discourage me from going to Target? I know HE knows how much damage I can do there in a minimal amount of time.”
But… all he says is: “Honey, please bring back my new favorite tooth paste – that Tom’s of Maine stuff you bought last time you went to Target.” (I breathe a sigh of relief – that was actually exactly what I was going there for… so now I will look like a hero!) “Of course honey!” I smile as Jordan and I run out the door, before my husband thinks to tell me not to spend too much money.
(Thankfully there’s a Cartwheel offer on Tom’s of Maine right now – you should take advantage of it too!)
The tooth paste my husband is referring to is the Tom’s of Maine Simply White.
We were both blown away at the difference in taste compared to other toothpastes. The “clean mint” flavor was natural and not overpowering or synthetic. Now our whole family uses only Tom’s of Maine tooth paste, although we all have our own favorite flavors.
While we are shopping for Tom’s of Maine at Target, I get both Jacob and me new deodorants. I still am not quite ready for my son to wear deodorant, but apparently I don’t have a choice – he needs it and I must accept the fact that he’s entering the stinky danger zone (aka pre/teen years.)
Thankfully, I don’t have to worry about Jacob putting unhealthy products on his skin. The Tom’s of Maine deodorant for tweens and teens puts a concerned mother’s mind at ease.
Speaking of “stinky danger zone”, I get a couple bars of Tom’s of Maine soap for the kids’ bathroom.
The Tom’s of Maine products don’t contain any artificial preservatives, flavors or fragrances. Their ingredients are sourced and derived from nature and that is something parents love to hear!
Before too long, I look in my cart and realize that the only items in there are Tom’s of Maine boxes and packaging – and with good reason. I trust their products for our entire family.
Jordan quickly eyes the box containing the Tom’s of Maine toothpaste as the perfect piggy bank. Surprisingly, I am able to get out of Target with a cart loaded with Tom’s of Maine products… and nothing else. I am not sure that’s ever been done before… especially not at Target, but I am really proud of myself. As soon as we get home, we start the DYI upcycled piggy bank for Jordan. He decides on a nature inspired theme, since the money will benefit our local wildlife sanctuary.
Items Needed to Make an Upcycled Piggy Bank:
- Tom’s of Maine toothpaste box
- Plain white paper
- Craft paint: brown and green
- Paint brush
Instructions on how to make an up cycled piggy bank:
- Dip your
victim’sCHILD’s hand in brown paint. Make sure the entire surface of his hand is covered in paint.
- Put the hand in the middle of the paper, apply gentle pressure to make sure it leaves an even imprint.
- With a paint brush, paint the trunk of the tree.
- Let the paint dry for a few minutes.
- Dip fingertips in different shades of green and make “leaves” throughout the tree top.
- Allow the finished work of art to dry completely.
- Use an empty toothpaste cardboard box from Tom’s of Maine. It’s the perfect size for a piggy bank for mostly coins and some bills.
- Cut the top flap of the box so it leaves a space when you close it – this slit where you insert the money.
- Wrap the Tom’s of Maine toothpaste box in the handprint tree paper. Use tape to secure the wrapping paper.
- You may have to cut the paper to fit properly around the top flap and put tape on the bottom of the flap.
- VOILA! You now have yourself an adorable “green” upcycled piggy bank!
Jordan grabs the piggy bank and immediately fills it with all his spare change. He looks at me with his sparkling blue eyes and says: “Mom, this piggy bank is REALLY cool. We SAVED trees by reusing the Tom’s of Maine toothpaste box. We are using it to SAVE money, and the money will go to the wildlife sanctuary – so they can SAVE wild animals!”
(I love how he thinks)
Now that the kids have seen how much fun it is to repurpose/ reuse/ recycle/ upcycle – they are up for taking the #LessWasteChallenge by Tom’s of Maine. Together we pledge to reduce ONE POUND OF WASTE EVERY WEEK FOR A YEAR. Imagine the impact of this challenge, if every other family in a community take this pledge – those pounds of waste add up quickly.
One way we plan on participating, is by donating our old (no longer used) toys. Passing on toys that they once loved, but have since grown out of, gives the kids a tangible way to see how things are recycled – when other kids play with their old toys. Please join us in taking the #LessWasteChallenge. Get your family involved and before you know it, you will think of creative ways to reuse, reduce and recycle the items already found in your home!