Flickr/JHillDesign

DCL

It always makes me sad to have to toss away last year's calendar. You know—when it's time to ditch the very thing I made a habit of looking at every day. To have to say goodbye to those twelve pictures whose every detail I carved into my memory from staring at them so much.

Well I say "NO MORE!" to that. There are plenty of ways we can recycle our calendars instead of letting them go to waste. After all, "parting is such sweet sorrow," why not reuse yesterday's treasures...for tomorrow! Check out my favorite reuses:

1. Photo Album/Scrapbook: An old calendar will make an amazing photo album of your favorite memories from last year. Think about it. Calendars are inherently designed to help you record what happens every day. So if way back on March 16th you wrote "Cousin Lisa's Wedding," go ahead and glue a picture from that night. Or let's say you dyed your hair in late June. You include before and after pictures on that month's page to literally see the transformation.

It will be the most chronological scrapbook/photo album you've ever made, and will truly give you some perspective on your different experiences year to year. If you do it every year, I give you my word that ten years from now, you'll be ecstatic to have a decade's worth of precious memory booklets.

2. Hopscotch: Looking for a rainy day activity for the kids? Try this: Separate the pages from an old calendar, and lay them out into a hopscotch pattern of your choice. The kids will love hopping onto pretty pictures, instead of the usual chalk outline set against a bare backdrop of asphalt.

- Once you've laid out a pattern, you may want to tape the calendar pages together, and even onto the floor. It'll keep the squares from moving around. If you have a rubber mat (or anything with tread), make sure to slide it underneath the hopscotch course. If not, your kids run the risk of slipping and hurting themselves, even if your floors are carpeted.

3. Puzzle: Did you know you that can make 12 homemade puzzles out of just one calendar? It?s pretty easy too!

- Rip out the picture of your choice from the calendar.

- Glue it onto a piece of cardboard (you can even use the back of a notebook or the cardboard backing of the calendar if there is one).

- Flip it over so that the cardboard side is facing up.

- Draw how you want your puzzle pieces to look, with as many different shapes and sizes as you please (it will look similar to a completed puzzle with all the pieces in place). Make sure that all the pieces connect.

- Take scissors and cut out each individual puzzle piece, trying your best to cut exactly on the line.

- Once you're done cutting, swish all the puzzle pieces around and mix them up.

- Now you've got yourself a puzzle. Get to work!

- If you want, you can laminate the calendar picture onto the cardboard before you start cutting. It will make it more durable. Just make sure you draw your puzzle pieces first with a dark pen or marker that will show through the lamination.

4. Poster: This will look so cool hanging on your living room or bedroom wall. All you need to do line up the calendar pictures into rows of three or four, starting with January's picture and ending with December's. Then glue them onto a piece of paper, cardboard or poster board (really whatever you have lying around in the house.) Voila!

It's always a nice touch to put the calendar's year on the bottom (you can write it yourself or cut it out from the calendar cover). You might as well frame it too! That way, you'll have every month of last year immortalized onto your wall, and all to a specific theme (i.e. Dogs, Dali paintings, cycling.)

5. Arts & Crafts: Almost every object can be reused to make art, but the pictures from a calendar can come in extra handy when making decorations. Here are just a few ideas:

- Make a place mat. Just glue and laminate each individual calendar sheet onto a rectangular piece of cardboard, with the picture facing up. If you?re in an abstract mood, cut the picture into little pieces first, and create a collage for the place mat. You can turn it into a family activity, with separate place mats for the kids.

- Same thing goes for making a coaster. Instead of cardboard, see if there are any old tiles lying around, and glue the picture onto it. Cut 4 little slices of cork from a wine cork, and glue them onto the bottom corners of the tile. You won?t see any rings on your coffee table again.

Lastly, design your own greeting cards using the pictures from a calendar. You can get really creative with these, and the possibilities are endless. Calendars are perfect for homemade birthday cards-you can use the picture that belongs to the birthday month, and personalize the card with your own special touches.

Hankering for a home makeover? Manifest your green American Dream with tips from Planet Green TV's Greenovate.