ByWendy Gabriel

Feb 1, 2018

It’s almost Groundhog Day, that day when Punxsutawney Phil emerges from his den and, if he sees his shadow, returns to his cozy home for six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, then spring arrives early. So, as we all hold our breath to discover how much longer winter will be, here’s some upcycled and healthy fun for and eco-friendly Groundhog Day.

Upcycled Groundhog Day Craft

This adorable mask idea from I Heart Crafty Things, made with materials from your recycling bin, will let your kids re-enact the Groundhog Day event over and over.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Paperboard (or other materials) from the recycling bin — brown for the face and ears, white for the teeth and whiskers, black for the nose
  • Brown marker or paint
  • Scissors and/or craft knife
  • Glue
  • String or yarn
  • Hole punch


First, cut out a large heart shape from the brown (or brownish) material. This will be the base of your mask. Next, cut the eye holes out. We used a water bottle cap (also from the recycling bin) to trace circles on the backside of the heart. Cut ears from this same material. We used part of a Starbucks bag that had some pattern on it for a fun touch to the ears. Cut out a circular nose from any black or darker material. Cut out a smaller heart shape from the white material. This will be your groundhog’s teeth. Also, cut six long (2 to 3 inches), thin strips from the same material. This will be the whiskers for your groundhog.

We added some furry eyebrows and eyelashes, but you could also have your kiddos color the whole base a furry brown color depending on your preference.

Glue all your pieces together. Punch holes on either side of the mask, tie on your string and you are ready to have some eco-friendly Groundhog Day fun.

Find other fun Groundhog Day ideas here.

A Healthier Groundhog Day Snack

This adorable Groundhog Day snack idea comes from The Joys of Boys blog. We made it a little healthier by using our favorite avocado chocolate mousse recipe instead of chocolate pudding. The recipe is easy and delicious. My youngest daughter found the recipe years ago and wrote it down in our recipe book; we’ve been using it ever since.


  • 1 ripe organic avocado (smaller avocados are usually creamier)
  • Roughly 2 tablespoons honey or other sweetener
  • ¼ cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Small pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons milk


Cut your avocado in half, remove pit and scoop out the creamy goodness. Put fruit into a blender or food processor with the sweetener, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt and milk. Blend until smooth. Add more sweetness if desired. Chill, then serve. This recipe makes 2 servings.

To add your Groundhog Day twist to the mousse, you’ll need these ingredients:

  • Milano cookies
  • Crushed Oreo cookies
  • Sliced almonds
  • Peanut butter chips
  • Chocolate frosting (optional)

Make your groundhog by adding eyes, nose and ears to your Milano cookie. (The Joys of Boys used chocolate frosting for the eyes, etc., but we used a little of the mousse instead and it worked. If we were doing a bunch for a Groundhog Day party, we probably would’ve made some frosting, but we were going to eat them right away, so we improvised.)

Put your mousse in dessert cups, add your crushed Oreos for the “dirt,” then top with your groundhog cookie for an easy and fun Groundhog Day sweet treat.

By Wendy Gabriel

Wendy Gabriel is a freelance eco-writer based in California. Wendy's work has been featured in numerous publications and websites, including the Chicago Sun-Times, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fox Business News and For nearly six years, she was a weekly contributor on a popular radio talk show in the Upper Midwest with a segment titled “Simple Tips for Green Living.”