MIAMI COUNTY — Hand-made Christmas ornaments are always a treasured keepsake to adorn the family Christmas tree.
Yet an ornament that helps Mother Nature at the same time, is a win-win for all.
Miami County Solid Waste District held their annual recycled ornament contest, which Cookson Elementary School third grade incorporated in their science studies this fall.
Shelley Stewart said her class participates in the contest each year, which pairs well with their unit on recycling.
“Every year they surprise me in new ways,” Stewart said. “I’m just so impressed with what they come up with and I know the families enjoy the project.”
Gavin Kalmar, 8, reused a Cheez-It box to make a “recycling buddy” ornament. Kalmar did have some help around the house with his creation.
“I used my sister’s pencil for the top,” Kalmar said.
Ainsley Standforth, 9, created a Minnie Mouse ornament out of milk bottle caps.
“I made it out of bottle caps for the ears and added a bow. The fun part was putting the glitter on the bottom,” she said.
Bryson Wray, 8, designed a Santa and carved a sleigh out of a water bottle.
“I used a toilet paper roll thing to make the Santa and paper for the hat and cardboard for the arms,” Wray said. “I did it after school.”
Violet Partin, 8, used eating utensils in a whole new way to design a Christmas tree.
“I used clear plastic forks and glued them together. My family really likes trees and so my mom and me found this. We cut the tops off of the forks and made them into the tree,” she said.
Other students from across the county also again participated in this year’s recycled ornament contest, sponsored by the Miami County Solid Waste District.
The annual contest asks students to create Christmas ornaments using recyclable materials. The contest is judged on creativity, reuse of materials, and recycle-ability of materials.
This year, students from five schools in grades kindergarten through eighth grade submitted ornaments, sending in a tree made from upcycled plastic forks, some amazing origami work, a tree constructed from paper towel tubes, and snowmen made of cans, bottles and bottle caps.
Lauren Karch, MCSW director, said students around the county may be tapped for their creativity again in a spring contest to promote the county’s recycling efforts.
Cookson Elementary school students swept the third through fifth grade category in the county-wide contest:
• Grades 3-5
First place: Bryson Wray, from Mrs. Stewart’s third grade class at Cookson Elementary, for a pop bottle sleigh.
Second place: Ainsley Stanforth, from Mrs. Stewart’s third grade class at Cookson Elementary, for a plastic bottle-top Minnie Mouse.
Third place: Brooke Davis, from Mrs. Wise’s fourth grade class at Concord Elementary, for a painted CD ornament.
Honorable mention: Violet Partin, from Mrs. Stewart’s third grade class at Cookson Elementary, for a plastic fork Christmas tree.
Honorable mention: Gavin Kalmar, from Mrs. Stewart’s third grade class at Cookson Elementary, for his recycle monster.
For more information about the Miami County Solid Waste District, and to check out photos of the students’ ornaments, visit www.miamicountyrecycles.org.