DIY Stocking Stuffers: Using Water for Holiday Cheer

Photo by Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care… But what’s that? Oh no, they’re bare!

 

Running out of time to finish your last-minute holiday shopping? As the holidays are quickly approaching, we have some creative DIY stocking stuffer projects that you can easily create for your loved ones this season. Made out of household materials—like water, our favorite crafting tool—you’ll see how reusing everyday items can make some seriously cool and original gifts.

 

Snow Globes 

Image via Wikimedia

Need a way to repurpose those fast food meal toys your kids keep around the house? These DIY snow globes transform their toys into unique gifts.

What you’ll need:

  • Mason jar
  • Figurine
  • Water
  • Glycerin (optional)
  • Glitter
  • Super glue

What to do:

  • Grab an old figurine to use for the focal point of your snow globe
  • Place a liberal amount of glue on the bottom of the figurine and place it inside of the lid
  • Fill the jar with water (you can also add glycerin at this step so that the glitter will float better)
  • Screw the lid on tight, and seal it with super glue so it won't leak

You’re now ready to shake your snow globe and watch the scene come to life!

Lava Lamps 

Image via Wikimedia

Water is one of the only materials necessary for this groovy DIY project.

What you'll need:

  • An empty jar
  • Water
  • Food dye
  • Vegetable oil
  • Antacid tablet

What to do:

  • Fill the empty jar 1/3 with water, then fill the remaining 2/3 with the vegetable oil. Leave about an inch of space towards the top.
  • Add drops of food coloring until you reach a desired color
  • Break an antacid tablet into pieces inside the jar
  • Screw the lid on tight and watch the bubbles fizz and move

This stocking stuffer is guaranteed hours of fun—the lava lamp effect can happen as many times as you break a new antacid tablet.

Block Crayons 

Photo by Evan Kirby on Unsplash

Have a few dozen broken crayons lying around that the kids don’t use anymore? Yeah, we thought so. Give their favorite coloring tool a facelift with the help of a simple cake pan and kitchen knife in this craft.

What you'll need:

  • Kitchen knife
  • Old crayons
  • Cake tins (preferably with shapes)

What to do:

  • Peel the wrappers off crayons by running them under warm water and scraping off any remaining wrapper pieces with a knife
  • Parents: cut the crayons into tiny pieces no bigger than a pea
  • Be sure to keep the colors separate so your kids can arrange them how they want
  • While they're arranging their colors, preheat the oven to 150 degrees
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the wax melts
  • Remove the shapes from the tin after they cool down. (If they stick to the pan, place them in the freezer for about an hour to help them pop out) 

 

With your finished products, you will have brand-new crayons that kids (especially the toddlers in your life) can use—all without going out and spending money on new crayons!

 

Skip the store lines and expensive gifts this holiday season by showing your loved ones you care with thoughtful handmade gifts. We hope that you’ve enjoyed these fun and watery crafts and that you’re able to use them this holiday season. To keep up your DIY streak by making your own festive holiday candles, head here.

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12 Days of Water

It’s the holiday season and we’re in an extra festive mood. That’s why we decided to take the classic 12 Days of Christmas song and add our own little twist.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Aqua gave to me…

Twelve clean loads of dishes

Eleven pipes a pumping

Ten taps a turning

Nine water recipes

Eight states of service

Seven WaterSmart Tips

In addition to providing water services, we offer handy tips to keep your house flowing. Feel free to check them out at any time!

Six tubs a teeming

Five new blog posts!

Four sparkling sinks

Three volunteers

At Aqua, we value the communities that we service. That’s why we’re proud to share our volunteering initiatives with you. Between planting trees, helping with community programs or working with high schools, we are always happy to give back.

Two new hashtags

Keep up-to-date with all things Aqua and water in the world! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop. #12DaysofWater #HappyWaterDays

And a happy home filled with clean water for your tree!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us here at Aqua America. For any comments, questions, or concerns please reach out to us at 877.987.2782 or visit us at AquaAmerica.com

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The Top 5 Aquatic-Themed Halloween Costumes

Image: The Thrifty Gifter 

Halloween is right around the corner. Your youngest child wants to go as Elsa from Frozenagain—and your oldest just can’t seem to decide. Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. Through the years we’ve seen some amazing costumes. So, whether you’re still searching for the perfect costume for your kids or yourself, we’ve got you covered.

We may be a little biased toward the water-themed ones. But how could we not? Just look how awesome they are.

Jellyfish

This costume is extremely easy to make, but the results are electric. Find an old umbrella, cover it in colorful streamers, and voilà!

For an extra touch: Tape some glow sticks to the inside of the umbrella.

 

  

Scuba diver

You’ll be swimming in candy! All you need to do is grab some old sweats, a couple of soda bottles, flippers, and your goggles. A major bonus for this costume is that it will it keep you warm all night!

For an extra touch: Use a fishing net or large fish bowl for your candy bag.

 

 

Mermaid/Merman

You can’t go wrong with a classic. Even before Disney’s The Little Mermaid hit big screens, this costume was popular. Now’s your chance to bring your own twist to it!

Just start with any brightly colored top. To mimic a flipper, cut a large piece of fabric in the desired shape and glue it to the front of your plants. For scales, cut out little ovals and taper them all the way down your legs.
 

For an extra touch: Glue sequins and glitter to your tail for additional "wow" factor. 

 

 

A shower

Yes, you read that correctly. This clever costume is one of our favorites. All you need is a hula-hoop, shower curtain, sticks or pipe, and backpack.

For an extra touch: Add cotton balls around the base for the appearance of suds. 

 http://www.instructables.com/id/Shower-Costume/

Aquaman/Aquawoman

We’ve saved the best for last. And, no we did not pick this one because it has Aqua in the name. (Okay—maybe we did.) But that doesn’t mean this isn’t one of the coolest costumes out there.

Throw on an orange tee, green tights, and shorts and you’re good to go.

For an extra touch: Paint a cheap plastic pitchfork gold to turn it into a majestic trident!

https://rncrawforddesign.wordpress.com/2015/09/14/aquaman-costume-tutorial/

 

Bonus: Fish tank 

We couldn’t bear to leave this one out. Mix and match tchotchkes from around the house for a personalized tank. All you need is a cardboard box, tape, paint and a lot of glue.

For an extra touch: Dress the whole family as fish for a night of trick-or-treating!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/halloween-costumes-for-boys-that-go-beyond-superheroes_us_560b0a2ee4b0dd850309b6d8

 

Feeling inspired yet? Good! We can’t wait to see what you end up creating. Let us know what your favorite costumes are in the comments below.

From all of us here at Aqua, Happy Halloween!

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Do You Remember the Very First Week of September! – Labor Day Appreciation

We can’t believe it’s September already. What happened to summer – the camping trips, the beach weekends, the barbeques?

We actually shouldn’t be lamenting just yet. There’s still Labor Day! And that means one last hurrah before the leaves start to change and the kids go back to school. This weekend is the perfect time to get together with friends and family and have one more party with fireworks.

So, as we begin to end this incredible summer, we want to take some time to thank and recognize our employees – and every other loyal worker – and thank them for their hard work and dedication. 

Thank you to our crews who work around the clock to respond to emergencies and ensure water service through even the harshest of conditions. Thank you for your diligence and commitment to outstanding service through long hours and unpredictable circumstances to keep clean water flowing from our household taps.

We also owe our thanks to those in other industries who enable us to have the quality of life we appreciate now. Thank you to the carpenters who build our homes and the electricians who climb our power lines during thunderstorms.

These men and women have time and time again demonstrated a true devotion to their work. So, as we take this weekend to enjoy ourselves— let’s also show our appreciation to those who make our lives easier.

 

Thank you from Aqua America!

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How to Observe AND Preserve for Water Quality Month

Did you know August is National Water Quality Month? Not many people do, but that’s why we’re here — to spread the word. You can make simple changes in your water usage that will have a huge impact on local ecosystems and watersheds.

Think about all the little critters that play in the neighborhood creek or the pond by the park. Their health is literally in your hands. Your own water supply is one of the many places where polluted runoff occurs. Follow some of the helpful tips below to be on your way toward a cleaner and happier watershed.

 

·      Remember when you were six years old and your pet goldfish passed away? Your parents probably had a nice little toilet funeral for it. Well, believe it or not, flushing Goldie wasn’t too good for the environment. Let’s stop flushing anything that the toilet isn’t meant for. This includes medications, goldfish and leftover cleaning products.

 

·      Speaking of pets, we all know cleaning up after them is a cumbersome task. However, if their waste is left where it falls, it can get washed down storm drains, spreading  that bacteria into your drinking water.

 

·      Cars can create a huge mess if not tended to properly. You can still work on that old Corvette in the garage, but make sure you lay down some plastic liners to collect any dripping oil or other fluids first.

 

·      Gardens can be quite harmful to watersheds. If you use pesticides or chemical fertilizers, the runoff is some of the worst. If you have a patch of land dedicated to growing fruits, vegetables or flowers, you should take extra precautions and use organic repellents.

 

·      The same idea goes for toxic household products. One way or another, they get rinsed down the drain. To avoid contaminating your water, consider buying non-toxic, organic cleaners.

 

·      Finally, if you’re thinking about paving your driveway or other parts of your property, you might want to reconsider. Rainwater rinses off pavement and drags any pollutants it comes in contact with straight into the nearest drain. Without the pavement, water soaks into the ground, diluting contaminants and preventing flooding.

 

Over the past decade, watershed purity has declined. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs’ International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015, “Every day, more than 2 million tons of sewage drain into the world’s waters.” 

It’s never been more important to stay conscious, keep updated and be proactive about water quality.

Not sure where your watershed is located or what condition it’s in? Just input your zip code or town name to Surf Your Watershed to find out.

Go out and start saving the planet – one flush at a time.

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