It’s November, and although Thanksgiving is still more than a week away, preparation for the holidays has officially begun.

Whether you’re spending weekends looking for the perfect gift for a relative or partner or just prepping to host some holiday dinners, time management and saving money are all part of the planning.

With Nov. 15 being America Recycles Day, the Atlantic County Utilities Authority will be hosting an open house Friday where kids and parents can enjoy recycling games and crafts.

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Amy Menzel, communications manager for the ACUA, said residents should take advantage of material that’s just lying in recyclable bins at the house.

“It’s a lot cheaper and you don’t have to spend a lot of money, and it’s great to do with the kids. And even as an adult ,you don’t have to go out and spend so much,” Menzel said.

Menzel stopped by The Press of Atlantic City’s office to show us some of the ornaments and crafts that can be made for this holiday season, using items you’re probably already recycling.

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Butterfly stencils and cut out piece of plastic milk container. Wednesday November 2 2016 Amy Menzel, Communications Manager at the ACUA, demonstrates arts and craft ornaments and decorations made with common around-the-house items that would otherwise be discarded for recycling. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

Milk carton butterflies

WHAT YOU NEED

Milk carton

Butterfly templates

Scissors

Markers

Pipe cleaners

DIRECTIONS

Cut a piece out of the milk carton, large enough to lay the template onto.

After you have the piece cut out, lay it on top of the butterfly template.

After tracing over the template, use a magic marker or sharpie marker to color in the wings and body of the butterfly.

Cut out the butterfly and glue some pipe cleaners to the body.

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Amy Menzel holds a snowman ornament made from plastic soda, medication and juice lids. Wednesday November 2 2016 Amy Menzel, Communications Manager at the ACUA, demonstrates arts and craft ornaments and decorations made with common around-the-house items that would otherwise be discarded for recycling. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

Bottle cap snowmen

WHAT YOU NEED

White bottle caps, in various sizes

One black bottle cap

Black marker

Pipe cleaners

DIRECTIONS

Hot glue three or four of the white bottle caps together.

Dot the bottle caps with a black Sharpie or marker.

Add some pipe cleaners for arms or a scarf.

Top it off with a black bottle cap for a hat.

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Stars made from soda cans. Wednesday November 2 2016 Amy Menzel, Communications Manager at the ACUA, demonstrates arts and craft ornaments and decorations made with common around-the-house items that would otherwise be discarded for recycling. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

Soda can star ornaments

WHAT YOU NEED

Aluminum can (soda or beer cans work fine)

Knife

Scissors

Marker

Ruler

DIRECTIONS

First and foremost, safety first when you’re completing this craft! Young children, maybe have a parent or guardian take care of the cutting.

Slice the top and bottom off the can. Write an outline of a star on the can in marker.

Cut out the star using scissors.

Once you have your star, give it some dimension by bending it a little. Placing the edge of a ruler or a sturdy flat surface from a point of the star to its center, bend the “leg” of the star around the ruler’s edge slightly. Do this for each “leg” of the star.

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Wine bottle corks make a tree ornament. Wednesday November 2 2016 Amy Menzel, Communications Manager at the ACUA, demonstrates arts and craft ornaments and decorations made with common around-the-house items that would otherwise be discarded for recycling. (The Press of Atlantic City / Ben Fogletto)

Wine cork Christmas trees

What you need

Seven wine corks

Hot glue gun

Yarn

DIRECTIONS

Glue the corks in a pyramid shape; four on the base, three on top of that, two on top of that, and a single one on top to finish.

Tie yarn around the ornament (or you can glue it), and leave a loop of yarn atop the ornament that can be used to hang the piece.

Be ready to receive compliments for your innovative decorations.

Contact: 609-272-7258 MReil@pressofac.com

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I’ve written for multiple publications including Levittown Now, Passyunk Post, Philadelphia Neighborhoods,Temple News and JUMP Magazine. I’ve covered arts, entertainment, business, music, sports and local government. Experienced in videography.

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