Twist Tie & Tie Dye

Do you ever wonder what happens to the small trash from food or other product packaging after it has been thrown in the trash? Some ends up in landfills and depending what it’s made from, it may or may not break down. Some ends up in our waterways which is a problem for the plants, animals and people.

Instead of throwing these things away, try reusing them. Start saving these packaging materials next time you buy groceries, farmers market items, or online shopping.

Materials:

  • Twist ties from produce, bread, etc.
  • Rubber bands from produce, packaging, etc.
  • Bread clips
  • Plastic bags (without vents or holes)
  • Fruits & veggies if tie-dying.  Suggestions: coffee grounds, turmeric powder, beets, avocado pits, purple cabbage, spinach & carrot tops

How to Reuse:

  • Twist ties make great organizers for electrical cords. Bind gently to not kink the cords.
  • Rubber bands can be used for so many things around the house, it’s good to just have a jar of them around…or you can tie dye with them!
  • Bread clips make a wonderful tiny palate for small art. Use fine point sharpies to design and then glue them onto a surface. See ideas for unique greeting cards, holiday ornaments, fridge magnets and more! 
  • Small plastic bags are great for picking up pet waste without having to buy specific bags! If you don’t have a dog, save them and re-gift them to someone who does or recycle them – check local guidelines for recycling.
Shirt dyed with tumeric

Tie-Dye:

Instead of putting fruit and vegetable waste straight in the trash or compost, save it in the fridge until you’re ready to tie dye-naturally. You can use many veggies or scraps but they all have varying degrees of pigment.

To start out, try beets or turmeric as they have a naturally stronger pigment. Some of the colors others make might even surprise you!

Use gloves when handling dyes, even though they are natural. Do not dry in the sunlight as they will fade and only wash as needed with a mild detergent and cold water.

  • Turmeric – yellow (be careful as this will stain many surfaces)
  • Beets – red
  • Purple cabbage – red/pink
  • Avocado pits – light pink (use more than one)
  • Spinach, carrot tops – green/yellow 

More resources for natural tie dye with fruits and veggies


We’d love to see your dyeing skills! Email your photos to info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org  or tag us on social media.

Nature-based Yoga Class

Enjoy a gentle flow style yoga class with a watershed ecology theme alongside Melanie, our education & outreach coordinator (RYT 200).

This class is open to all ages and levels. It meets Georgia Standards of Excellence in Science for 7th and 8th grades with some topics and vocabulary appropriate for other grade levels. Contact melanie@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org for more information.

Suggested Activity

Listen for these vocabulary words during class and see if you can remember the definitions:

  • Watershed
  • Headwaters
  • Ecosystem
  • Environmental stewards
  • Wiregrass ecosystem (aka Longleaf Pine Ecosystem)
  • Ectothermic
  • Keystone species

Setting Seasonal Intentions for the Environment

via National Wildlife Federation

Do you find it hard to make and keep New Year’s resolutions? Try setting a seasonal intention instead!

Use your creativity and science skills to come up with ways you can help the environment. This can be as simple as reducing energy or water use within your own home or a larger-scale river or community clean up. We can all be stewards of the environment on a local or global level — at any age.

Identify 3 ways you can be an environmental steward* and set these as your seasonal intentions. Keep a journal of your adventures, take pictures, make art, or use any other creative method to track your progress. Share your seasonal intentions to inspire those around you. 

Send in images of your activity so we can share it on social media. Email us at info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org

*Environmental Steward –  Someone who is a responsible user and a protector of the natural environment through conservation and sustainable practices.


This activity can be used as enrichment alongside Project Learning Tree activity “Every Drop Counts.” Every Drop Counts is appropriate for grades 4-8 under science, social Studies and math. The Seasonal Intentions project is appropriate for all ages and incorporates both STEM and art learning concepts.