By Adrianna Zampieri
It’s that time of year again when Dr. Seuss’ beloved book “The Lorax” is used to educate children in school about the environment we live in. Established in 1970, Earth Day focuses on bringing attention to environmental issues and inspiring ideas to solve them, so on April 22 celebrate our planet Earth with a few DIY projects. And don’t forget what the wise Lorax said, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” There’s only one Earth, and it’s ours to take care of.
Tissue Paper Trees
Help your children and younger siblings create their own miniature forest with this tutorial from (the aptly named) “Housing A Forest.” For an educational twist, teach them about the environment, climate change, and deforestation while they’re assembling their twig trees. It’s never too early to for the next generation to learn about the importance of trees in Earth’s ecosystem.
What You Need:
- Tissue paper
- Pipe cleaners
How to Do It:
- Cut out several 4”x4” squares of tissue paper. It does not have to be exact, so you can guestimate the size.
- Wrap a small piece of pipe cleaner about a third of the way down the twig to keep the “leaves” in place on the “tree trunk.”
- Slide the tissue squares on to the twig one by one. This will be easiest if the twigs have a pointy top, but it’s not necessary.
- Once you’ve finished adding the tissue paper, place a piece of pipe cleaner around the top to hold the “leaves” on.
- Crunch up all the tissue paper into a tight ball.
- Lastly, pull the pieces of tissue back outward, shaping them to look like the top of a tree.
Bird Seed Ornaments
Trees are more than just oxygen-producing machines. They’re also a source of food, hiding spots, and nesting places for local wildlife, especially birds. With this tutorial by “Hellobee,” make bird seed ornaments to hang from the branches of the trees in your backyard. The birds (and a few pesky squirrels) will certainly thank you!
What You Need
- 4 cups bird seed
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tbs corn syrup
- Cookie cutters
- Drinking straw
How to Do It:
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, water, corn syrup, and one envelope of unflavored gelatin. Stir until well combined.
- Add the bird seed and mix well.
- Spray your cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray and pour the seed mixture onto the cookie sheet. Flatten out the seed mixture.
- Use cookie cutters to cut different shapes such as circles, hearts, or even animals from the seed mixture.
- Use a drinking straw make a little hole in the bird seed ornament.
- Once the bird seed ornaments are dry (it usually takes overnight), string twine through the hole.
Planet Earth Oreo Truffles
Every holiday calls for something sweet, and “The Gunny Sack” has made the perfect Earth Day treat. These round, scrumptious Oreo truffles are coated with Earth’s signature colors, blue and green, and have a vivid inside to match. With these miniature planets, you’ll literally have the whole world in your hand.
What You Need:
- 36 Golden Oreos
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- Green gel paste (food coloring)
- Blue gel paste (food coloring)
- 2 cups dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup green candy melts
- 1/4 cup blue candy melts
How to Do It:
- Crush enough Golden Oreos, about 36, to get three and a half cups of crushed cookies.
- Mix together the crushed Oreos with the eight ounces of softened cream cheese.
- Divide the mixture into two bowls, and use the gel paste to tint one blue and the other green.
- Grab several small bits of each color and roll them into balls about one inch wide.
- Place the Oreo balls into the freezer for about 15 minutes to get firm.
- Melt the dark chocolate chips in the microwave according to the instructions on the package. Then dip the firm Oreo balls in the melted chocolate and set on parchment paper. Re-melt the chocolate as needed.
- Finally, once the chocolate is set, drizzle the melted candy melts on top of the Oreo balls. Tip: Scoop the melted candy melts into a disposable pastry bag and snip off a tiny bit of the tip to help you drizzle it neatly over the truffles.