Earth Day is one of my favorite holidays. No gifts to wrap. No cards to send. No extravagant holiday meals to cook and clean up. Just a day to appreciate our Earth and all it has to offer. In previous years we have gone hiking and picked up litter on Earth Day. This year, of course, we tried something new. I saw easy directions for making paper on TinkerLab and thought we’d give it a try.
We took some circulars from this week’s mail, tore them into small pieces, and put them into the blender. Leah started singing “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” by Jack Johnson, and Luke and I joined in for a trio. Really. I didn’t plan that part just to make my post syrupy sweet. The tearing of the paper only took about 10 minutes. We added water to the paper and turned on the blender. My kids absolutely hated the sound of the blender. That may be because they seldom hear kitchen appliances used in our home. The microwave timer is probably the only sound from the kitchen they easily recognize. Luckily, it only took about 3 or 4 minutes to puree the paper into a pulp. We went into the garage and pressed the paper onto an old window screen to squeeze out the water. That probably took less than 5 minutes. I turned our paper onto plastic cutting boards to dry overnight.
So, the entire project took less than 20 minutes and we have recycled paper, right? Wrong. It’s been two days and our dark gray pulp is still drying on the kitchen counter. Our project bears only a slight resemblance to paper. I hope by the time we move on to New Experience #16, I will be able to post a photo of beautiful children’s artwork on handmade paper. I can dream, can’t I?
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