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Cheerios Gave You Free Seeds. Should You Plant Them?

By Julie Finn

Cheerios Gave You Free Seeds

This happened while I was on a Spring Break trip with my kids, so I missed much of the debate as it went live. But every night, browsing Facebook before bed, I’d see the updated shares. The first couple of nights, there was lots of “Cheerios is giving away free wildflower seeds! Go get some! Yay, Cheerios!”

The next couple of nights, those types of posts were being overtaken by ones that looked more like “Cheerios is giving away free non-native, invasive, poison seeds! Don’t plant them! Boo, Cheerios!”

I don’t have a dog in this race, because by the time I got home from my trip, Cheerios had given away all of its 1.5 billion seeds. I’m going to assume, however, that since lots of people apparently requested them, perhaps you did, too. And now you’re left wondering whether, after the trouble that you took to order them and the time and resources spent to package and mail them to you, you should actually plant them at all. Should you toss them instead?

Let’s figure it out, shall we?

Question What are the wildflowers? Obviously, you HAVE to know this, or you’ll have no idea if you should plant them in your area, or if they’d even survive. Cheerios doesn’t tell you what exact flowers you’ll receive in your mix, and neither, as far as I can tell, does the seed packet itself say. But we do know that the packet comes from Vesey’s, so we can assume (or you could just call them and ask) that they’re using the “bee feed wildflower mix” that they already stock. Using the flowers listed in this mix as their source, Lifehacker has noted some places where some of the listed flowers are regarded as invasive, or even banned. If you live in one of those places, then nope, you apparently should not plant these seeds. If you don’t live in one of those places, then carry on to the next question.

Question Will the flowers kill the bees instead of feed them? Many of the Facebook-shared warnings in my Spring Break newsfeed revolved around rumors that Cheerios itself contains a type of Round-Up, and/or that Veseys Seed Company was formerly owned by Monsanto. Rather than research this myself, I clicked over to Snopes, as should you. Tl;dr: Yes, Cheerios was found to contain glyphosates. No, glyphosates aren’t a huge problem to honeybees, according to the study Snopes cites. No, Veseys was never owned by Monsanto. So dig a little more on that glyphosate issue, as there’s clearly at least a grain of truth there, and if it bothers you then nope, don’t plant those seeds. If you trust the study cited, then carry on to the next question.

Question Will the flowers really help the bees? Eh… maybe, maybe not. It’s likely that many, most, or all of the Cheerios seeds are non-native to your area, but heck, so are honey bees. The bees that you REALLY want to save are the bees that are native to your area. The UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab claims that native bees feed best with native plants, but that they will feed from non-natives, IF they’re blooming at the proper time. Those non-native Cheerios seeds are not necessarily a deal-breaker, then. If you’re happy to have the flowers whether or not they feed the bees, then you’re probably okay.

Here’s the answer, then: if you just want some flowers, AND the flowers in the mix aren’t invasive or banned in your area, AND you’re comfortable with the glyphosate issue, then sure–enjoy your free seeds! If you really want to help your native bees, however, you’re going to have to put a little more work into the project than simply tossing some Cheerios seeds into your garden. Research the bee-friendly natives to your area, and plant them. Add a water source. Build and install a bee house.

And then share THOSE photos on Facebook, because everybody needs some inspiration!

Image credit: Cheerios image via Cheerios

Read more here: Crafting A Green World

9 Ways to Reuse Cardboard Food Containers

By Becky Striepe

Raid your recycle bin, because there are lots of cool ways to reuse cardboard food containers!

Raid your recycle bin, because there are lots of cool ways to reuse cardboard food containers!

Even if you cook most of your family’s meals from scratch, chances are you end up with cardboard food containers. Maybe you cracked open a box of crackers for a party or really wanted cookies, but didn’t want to make them from scratch just this once. Don’t toss that empty in the recycle bin! Here are some fun ways to reuse cardboard food containers instead.

Ways to Reuse Cardboard Food Containers

How to Make Food Packaging Postcards

1. Make Postcards – Cardboard food containers are the perfect weight for making mailable postcards. Julie shows you how to craft your postcards, so you can mail them using a USPS postage stamp.

2. Organize Embroidery Floss – Pizza boxes, cereal boxes, and other cardboard food containers are just right for cutting down into embroidery floss spools. No more tangles for you!

This easy recycled paper fall garland that's so simple to make, you'll be gathering your craft supplies before this post is even over!

3. Seasonal Decor – Old cereal boxes are just the right sign for making Bonnie’s cute Fall sign. Of course, you could also make ones that say Spring, Summer, or Winter – celebrate your favorite season!

4. Easter Wreath – This cute, lightweight wreath uses an old pizza box as the base. No foam wreath form required!

DIY Valentine's Day Gifts for Him: Custom Journal

5. Travel Journal – Cereal boxes and other cardboard food containers make the perfect cover for your homemade journal.

Cute School Supplies: Reusable No-Sew Fabric Folder

6. Fabric Folder – A cereal box is the perfect base for this cute, no-sew fabric-covered folder. Get organized in style, y’all!

DIY Organization: Hanging File Folders

7. Hanging Wall File – Turn an old cereal box into a hanging wall file to organize all of your school or work papers.

Button Hair Clip from a Cardboard Box

8. Hair Clip – This is a great way to reuse scraps from the other projects on this list. Make a cute little heart-shaped hair clip!

9. Magazine Organizer – Wrangle your magazine collection with this cute, simple cereal box craft idea!

Do you have any favorite ways to reuse cardboard food boxes? Share your favorite project ideas in the comments!

Read more here: Crafting A Green World

21 Eco-Friendly Easter Crafts

By Julie Finn

Eco-Friendly Easter Crafts

Y’all, do not freak out that I’m not showing you any cute ways to decorate Easter eggs in this post. Eco-friendly Easter eggs are a Big Deal to me, and they’re going to get their own series of posts later.

In the meantime, here are all the eco-friendly non-Easter egg ways to decorate your home for Easter!

1. bunny blocks. Scrap blocks and paint and bunnies!

2. bunny luminaries. Upcycle old jars into these sweet Easter luminaries.

3. button Easter egg. I LOVE the way that you can use such a variety of buttons in this project.

4. doily Easter eggs. Do you have doilies leftover from your handmade Valentine crafting? Turn them into Easter eggs!

5. Easter baskets. These are all DIY and eco-friendly.

6. Easter bunny board art. Use a nice, flat scrap board here. A pallet board would work well, if you sealed it afterwards.

Easter Bunny Candy Holder from a Toilet Paper Roll7. Easter bunny candy holder. Yep, it’s a toilet paper tube again.

8. Easter egg Mason jars. This is the coolest thing ever–decorate Mason jars like Easter eggs!

9. egg dye paint. They work like watercolors, and are a lot of fun for kids.

10. embroidery hoop Easter eggs. Wondering what those oblong embroidery hoops are even for? This!

11. felt Easter eggs. Use wool felt for a natural craft and Eco-fi felt for an upcycled craft. Add any embellishments that you have on hand.

12. glass jar bunny vase. Put your Easter bouquet in this decorative–and upcycled!–vase.

13. paint-filled eggs. Do your kids love messy crafts? Because mine do!

14. pine cone bunny. Still have pine cones leftover from your fall nature collecting? Turn them into these cute bunnies.

15. potato Easter egg stamps. You can carve stripes or polka dots, apply different colors of paint, and stamp your eggs already decorated.

16. reclaimed wood Easter bunny. This project works best with wood of identical thickness, so scavenge for leftover boards that were all intended for the same project.

17. scrap wood bunny. Use any piece of scrap wood, and whatever stash wire you can scrounge, to make these cute bunnies.

18. toilet paper tube Easter stamps. You can make a bunny or Easter eggs.

19. treats. Try letting the Easter bunny bring these healthier treats this year.

20. wood slice bunny. Although you’ll have to saw tree branches to get the slices, otherwise this is an easy project for a non-woodworker.

21. wreath. It’s made from all upcycled materials!

Read more here: Crafting A Green World

16 Recycled Crafts for Spring

By Julie Finn

Recycled Crafts for Spring

Start spring off right by raiding your recycling bin and cleaning out your stash, because you’re going to love this list of spring crafts, all made from recycled materials!

1. bottle cap hyacinth prints. The hyacinths won’t be long, but while you bide your time, use a bottle cap to make some artsy ones.

2. button art. You don’t have to know how to sew a stitch to make this adorable spring sign out of buttons.

3. daffodil bunting. This bunting uses the cardboard between the cups in an egg carton, so you can make this with your leftovers from some of the other projects on this list.

4. egg carton cherry blossoms. This is such a kid-friendly project, and the end result is so pretty!

5. egg carton chick. Make a whole flock of these adorable little chicks!

6. egg carton flowers. I really like this tutorial, because you can make the flowers in little bouquets.

7. egg carton tree. Celebrate the greening of the trees this month!

8. K-cup butterfly. I wish you wouldn’t use them, but at least you can upcycle them.

9. Mason jar scene. Upcycle a spaghetti jar, instead, and you’ll be able to see the scene inside more clearly. I’d also suggest using found embellishments instead of store-bought.

10. paper bag nest. I’ve found that this works great with the paper bags that wine bottles come in. Just sayin’!

11. skirts. It’s warm enough to show off your knees again.

12. soda bottle cherry blossom prints. I love using unusual materials as stamps, and this soda bottle bottom makes a great cherry blossom!

13. tin can planter. It’s time to make that garden grow.

14. toilet paper tube butterflies. You knew that we were going to have some toilet paper tube Spring crafts, right? I mean, come on–you know us!

15. toilet paper tube chicks. Yep, it’s yet another toilet paper tube craft!

16. water bottle flowers. Kids can DIY their own spring bouquets.

Read more here: Crafting A Green World

17 Nature Crafts for Spring

By Julie Finn

Nature Crafts for Spring

Spring is my favorite season to decorate for, because I am just so darn happy that it’s finally here!

Don’t head to the store for a bunch of stuff to help your house look more spring-like, because nature is on your side. Check out the list below of my favorite nature crafts for spring, and get ready for warm weather!

Window Bird Feeder1. bird feeders. Make the migrating birds feel welcome in their seasonal home!

2. decorative bird’s nest. Using real twigs, this decorative bird’s nest would be a fun project for a whole classroom of kids.

3. felt flower wreath. Use wool felt for the flowers to make this a natural craft; if you don’t use wool felt, then substitute Eco-fi recycled felt.

4. flower butterfly. It’s also a suncatcher!

5. flower head printable. If you need to keep kids occupied during a hike, have them collect flowers and leaves and let them make these cute flower heads when you’re back at your campsite.

6. garden. Start now before you get bored. Here’s how!

7. mandala art. Here’s a fun excuse to get outside. If you make this in the garden, it might even stick around!

8. maple seed dragonflies. When I was a kid, we’d call these seeds “helicopters,” for obvious reasons. Catch a few of these helicopters this spring and make yourself a dragonfly!

9. maple seed butterflies. This is a work of art that you’ll want to keep on display year-round.

10. mud paint. It’s raining, right? Feel free to let the kids get messy!

11. nature scavenger hunt. Customize it just for spring, and then set your kids loose with it.

12. painted wood slices. Put all those branches that fell in your yard over winter to work!

13. pine cone lamb. This lamb is adorable and all-natural! If you don’t want to use a cotton ball, you can substitute wool roving.

14. pine cone zinnias. If you have leftover pine cones from your fall collecting, it’s time to use them up. You can get more in a few months.

15. popcorn blossoms. Cut out a piece of cardboard to use instead of a paper plate for this project–the rest of the materials are eco-friendly!

16. tulip potato prints. Is there any end to the adorable prints that you can make from potatoes?!?

17. willow ball. Spring is a great time to craft with willow branches, although you can find supple ones all season.

Read more here: Crafting A Green World

17 Ways to Reuse a Burlap Sack

By Becky Striepe

There are so many fun ways to reuse a burlap sack! Try out some of these creative burlap craft ideas.

There are so many fun ways to reuse a burlap sack! Try out some of these creative burlap craft ideas.

If you’re a crafter who loves to reuse, chances are you’ve never thrown away a burlap sack, if you were lucky enough to score one. Maybe you have a coffee bag or two taking up space in your crafty stash right now!

Try some of these awesome ways to reuse a burlap sack, whether it’s a coffee bag, potato sack, rice bag, or something completely different!

Old potato sacks or coffee sacks make lovely, simple, DIY wall art! Here's how I transformed some salvaged burlap sacks into display-worthy pieces.

1. Wall Art – Burlap sacks often come printed with cool designs. Show them off with this neat framing technique!

2. Burlap Bunnies – Just in time for Easter! These cute bunnies are a great way to reuse old burlap sacks.

3. Chair Cover – Got an old chair that needs reupholstering? Burlap to the rescue!

4. Purse – I’m loving the look of this cute burlap purse.

How to Upcycle a Coffee Sack into a Burlap Box

5. Home Storage – Fabric boxes are great for wrangling craft supplies! Grab an old burlap sack and get yourself organized!

6. No-Sew Drawstring Bags – These are great for protecting small items, like lipstick or sunglasses, in your purse. You can also use them as party favor bags. No sewing required.

Make a flower trug from an old burlap sack!

7. Flower Trug – Tote those fresh-cut flowers in style!

8. Halloween Treat Bags – It’s a little bit early to start planning for Halloween, so tuck this tute away for the fall!

Burlap Sack Bulletin Board

9. Bulletin Board – Turn an ugly, second-hand bulletin board into something totally cute.

10. Ottomans – I’ll be honest: I’m floored at how cute these coffee sack ottomans are! Any large burlap sack would work for this project.

11. Table Runner – Turn an old burlap sack into a rustic table runner for your next dinner party.

12. No-Sew Sofa Cushions – No sewing skills required to make these cute sofa cushions from old burlap sacks!

13. Paintings – This is a great way to use up smaller, leftover pieces of burlap. You can choose unprinted portions of your bag, or work with any already-printed text or logos to create your burlap art.

14. Market Tote – Because doesn’t everyone need one more reusable grocery bag? This design is super adorable!

15. Sunglasses Case – This burlap sunglasses case is lined with recycled felt to protect your shades from scratches.

16. Lampshade – Turn a boring old lampshade into a statement piece with some burlap from an old coffee sack, rice bag, or potato sack.

17. Hand-Lettering – This is another cool way to deck out your burlap for any of the projects listed above. House by Hoff shows you how to add crisp, beautiful hand-lettering to your burlap.

Do you have any favorite ways to reuse a burlap sack? Tell us about them in the comments!

Read more here: Crafting A Green World

Tips for Storm Water Control

By Site Editor Effective management of storm water is crucial when it comes to preventing contaminants from polluting local rivers, lakes and streams. In addition, if you operate a business, it is highly likely that you are covered by a storm water discharge …

Read more here: My DIY Home Tips