In which Eco-novice gets crafty.
A few months ago, when I saw this idea for homemade streamers online, I knew it was easy enough for me to try, and bookmarked it. We have a few birthdays, plus Father's Day, during the summer in my family. I was ready to put up some store-bought streamers left over from a church function for the first summer event, until I noticed "flame-resistant, colors do not bleed" on the label, which gave me pause. Given what I know about flame retardants, I wasn't so interested in my family handling paper saturated with flame resistant chemicals. So, instead, I dug up the bookmarked DIY streamers instructions and made streamers using colored paper we already had. Not nearly as attractive as the original, but I was using what I had on hand, and not trying that hard. Just trust me when I say the photos don't really do them justice. We left them up for over a week in order to count for two different occasions.
Then I got to thinking what a truly eco-friendly idea this could be. I started setting aside colored paper that normally would be headed to either my kids' coloring stash (if printed on only one side) or the recycling bin (printed on both sides). I also saved a few papers that my kids had colored all over but weren't interested in saving. When our family's next birthday occasion rolled around, I had plenty of used colorful paper to create upcycled eco-friendly party decorations: streamers from reused paper. You could easily save the streamers and reuse for several events. And then when their time in the sun is over, just toss them in your recycling bin.