The World Cup is upon us and, with it, football mania is here again! Years of discussion, dilly-dallying and endless debate in the sports pages has been replaced with make-or-break decisions and top footballing action featuring some of the most talented players of all time. Not to mention the likes of Pele the Piranha, this tournament's favoured psychic sports pundit!
With the whole of the UK, and the world, getting involved there's plenty of things you can do to join in the fun. Here's a few tips to get you in the World Cup spirit:
Homemade face paints
Did you know that most commercially sold face paints contain lead particles? Not fun for faces. To make up an alternate, affordable, green and skin-kind version whizz up a batch of homemade footie fan face paint from the stuff you have in the cupboards.
As with any product that you put onto the skin, do a patch test first and wait 24 hours to check for any reaction before applying to the face.
1 1/2 tsp cornstarch (otherwise known as cornflour)
1/4 tsp white flour
2 tsp honey
1/2 tsp water
Natural food colouring of your choice (i.e. red and white for England!)
Mix the cornstarch and flour together and stir in the honey and water until you have a smooth consistency. Depending on the number of colours you'll need for your team supporters, divide your face paint mixture into small cups or jars. Add food colouring drop by drop to each cup, mixing each time, until you have the colour intensity you want.
Using a brush, paint your designs onto some willing faces. The face paint will take about 15 minutes to dry. If your face is still a bit sticky after that, you can dust with a little more flour to set the design.
Pizza box table football
Hopefully you'll love the simplicity of this design from Crafty Mama Blog. Instead of gnawing at your fingernails at half time, relieve the tension with a constructive game of pizza box table football.
All you need is an old pizza box, some used drinking straws for the goals and your blowing devices, green craft paper, white paint or Tippex for the lines, a ping pong ball or white pompom and some cereal boxes for the ad hoardings.
The beauty of this game, aside from the hours of fun you'll have with the kids with it, is that after the World Cup's over, you can pop it in the recycling. Just remember to separate out the plastics and cards.
Extremely super loud air horn
Remember the 2010 World Cup in South Africa? It was largely marked out by the vuvuzela drone controversy. Crowds loved them, but TV audiences (i.e. the rest of the watching world!) hated them. What side did you come down on? If you'd like nothing more than to blast the roof off when your team scores, you'll need to make a bone-shakingly loud recycled air horn.
Watch this YouTube video for detailed instructions from a terribly nice chap. Supplies you'll need to hand: a plastic drinks bottle, a tin can, some tape, a balloon and a pair of scissors.
Football from recycled bags
Kids living in parts of the world where there isn't the spare cash to buy footballs learn to play by making their own balls from plastic bags and string and we're sure your children will love the idea too.
Take a look at this post with instructions for similar techniques. It's easy and we guarantee, the kids will have hours of fun with it. A small version could even be used indoors for dribbling around the furniture, provided you're willing to risk the dangers of a heavy tackle taking out the TV!
When you get bored, simply unravel your ball to reuse the plastic bags for your shopping and in other ways around the house.
Plastic bag cheerleader pom poms
A swishier way to back your team - and we'd much rather use these than a deafening air horn! They look complicated but are in fact really simple to make.
You've probably got piles of plastic bags in the cupboard from shopping trips, now these can easily be snipped and knotted into prime cheerleading shape. Once you tire of 'Gimme an E' whilst attempting to do the splits, you can take them to your local supermarket for recycling.
Planning on having a World Cup party?
Greenredeem members can gain extra reward points by pledging to have an epic, planet-friendly game, by choosing more sustainable drinks when mates come round to watch the finals of Earth's biggest football tournament.
Opt for locally brewed lagers and ales as they show the red card to long distance transport emissions, while organic wine producers set up the natural environment for a winning season. More information on how to make this pledge can be found here.