Recycling is nice. We do it on a somewhat frequent basis, but I guess it depends on what your definition of recycling is. Does recycling just mean collecting all the plastic bottles and boxes from around the house or does it mean actually having said products land in a recycling garbage truck? Because really, we have the first part down, we're good at the collecting, not so good at the truck part though. Our main issue, I believe, is that the recyclables are not picked up every week. Wait, that's not technically true. The truck comes every week, on Wednesdays - before 5am, but who's counting? That truck makes more noise than a truck should and helpfully picks up either boxes or bottles. What they pick up rotates every week, and therein lies the problem. We are never quite sure what they will be picking up, so every Tuesday night turns into a not-so-fun-game of Which Recycling Can Should Josh Drag To The Curb This Week? The name of the game takes a really long time to say, but as will be shown in a minute, the game takes forever to play, as in, we've never stopped since we moved in, so all in all, it's a good name for the game.
Our game usually goes something like this:
Josh: I think tomorrow is recycling.
Josh: Is it bottles or boxes?
Me: I have no idea. I'll look and see what everyone else put out.
At that point, I look out the window and see the guy across the street dragging a huge box to the curb.
Josh: Okay, be right back.
Josh will then drag our huge thing of boxes to the curb. It's usually very late by then and so we go to sleep.
Enter: Stage Left. Chaos.
All of us leaving the house the next morning. Everyone else's recycling is gone. Ours is still at the curb. Josh goes to check and the guy across the street now has an empty box at the curb. What happened? Perhaps, and I can't confirm this, but maybe the guy across the street was dragging a box of bottles to the curb? So it wasn't box day. It was bottle day. Again. Hmmm. Maybe I shouldn't be the one who looks out the window on Tuesday nights.
Just to be fair, the city does send out a recycling calendar at the beginning of the year. And it's not a small, easy-to-lose piece of paper. On the contrary, it's so huge that it's impossible to keep. Where would I hang it? The ceiling? So a few weeks into January, out that calendar goes, probably into the recycling bin, which would actually mean that we still have it out in the driveway, on the bottom of the pile of boxes that never gets taken. So really, we're not hobos. We would like to have a clear driveway. We just have recycling issues.
So why am I sharing? Because since there will forever be mounds of broken down boxes in the house, I figured we'd put one to good use today.
My two-year-old has been clamoring to go to the mailbox, ever since she got her Chanukah coupon in the mail. But it's been like 20 degrees this week and walking to the car with the kids is quite enough cold for me, thank you very much. The mailbox is all the way at the end of the block. Not gonna happen. So instead, we made a mailbox.
And this is how.
Here is what you need:
1 extra large cardboard cereal box (the kind from Costco that holds two bags of cereal)
blue paint, for your sake, washable
some paper to make a sign
an hour of time
1. Open all the seams on the cereal box and turn it inside out, so the brown inside of the box is now on the outside.
2. Tape the box back together, sealing the bottom of the box with tape. Use more tape than you think you need.
3. Use the scissors and stab the box 3/4 of the way up the front of the box. This hole will be the basis for the mail-slot.
4. Using your new hole as the starting point, cut a rectangle in the box, leaving the bottom line of the rectangle alone so that the mail slot can open and close.
5. Do the same thing on the back of the box, near the bottom so the mail can come out.
6. Tape the top of the box closed, but do it in a sort of tee-pee shape, almost like the roof of a house. You don't really have to do this part, sealing the top shut just like the bottom is sealed shut is fine, but it's cuter this way. I wanted to round out the top like a real mailbox but I couldn't figure it out.
7. Paint the whole box blue.
8. Let it dry. Everyone naps.
9. Print out/write the words MAIL and BOX on paper and glue it onto the front of the box.
10. If you're really crazy, like I am, you will then modge-podge the entire thing so that it is sturdier than a cardboard box has the right to be. If not, not. Don't forget, it's just a toy made from a box. If it breaks, no biggie.
11. Hand your kid some index cards and tell her she's now the mail-lady.
12. Sit on the couch and read a magazine. (I'm kidding Josh! I wouldn't do that. I will now make dinner while our child plays USPS. Really.)
And super-fun for all!
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)