Have you ever asked yourself how you can apply your creativity to help minimize the global problem concerning waste? This is a problem that we may not be aware of or we may not paying close attention to but this could have a big impact to our future and to this earth’s future. Imagine, the world produces 2.12 billion tons of waste every year and one of the reasons is that 99% of the stuff we buy normally being trashed within 6 months. In American Samoa alone, which is a very small island with about 55,000 population experiences the same problem on huge trash or waste. The only sanitary landfill operating in the island of Tutuila ( American Samoa’s largest island) receives about 80150 tons of waste per day. The largest component of the overall waste stream in the island is paper and related material. Though the government is already in collaboration with other agencies in implementing programs to resolve this issue, cooperation from its constituent still plays a big part. If each of us will only open our eyes to see the potential of the solid wastes, we can help even in small way, to resolve this problem. In what way? Through practicing the Zero-waste philosophy in our life. Zero waste is a philosophy that encourages redesign so that all products are reused.
The office where I work on weekdays is located along the road going to the only sanitary landfill in the island. Everyday, I see truckloads of old, used tires being transported to the site. I see piles of carton boxes, papers, jars and other materials heading to its final destination, to be burried at the landfill. If I can only save all those materials that they consider trash, I can transform them into useful and beautiful craft items. Those solid waste materials can be recycled and re-used but the sad thing is, they are just being thrown and dumped and added up to the piles of trash at the landfill. Those trash stuffs are potential DIY (do-it-yourself) crafts. A used tire can be converted into a nice chair, plant pot, sandals, swing and many more other uses. Papers can be recycled into nice home decorations, laundry basket, organizers, etc. We can produce durable, lightweight and beautifully designed home furniture from corrugated carton boxes. Jars and bottles can be used to make beautiful terrarium and many other home decors. The zero waste process is similar to the way resources are reused in nature. If each of us would only consider the environment before throwing waste materials and involve ourselves in the government’s efforts to minimize waste, it will not only change our behavior towards littering, but instill pride and a sense of ownership and responsibility towards the protection and preservation of our natural environment.
Some may say it’s not easy because they don’t naturally have the knack in the art of crafting or in any art but I believe that this skill can be developed. If we put our heart in everything we do in life, improvement and growth is always present. If we love what we are doing, we will give our best efforts to achieve quality result. You do not have to be a fine arts graduate or have a diploma in art to produce a nice art craft. I too, don’t have any formal education in arts. I am just a self-taught artist. For you to be a recycled materials crafter, you need to have a strong motivation and act on it. Just think about the environment and the future of Mother Earth.
So be ready. Generally, the tools and materials you will need in crafting are the following;
- Working space and table
- Measuring tape
- Glue Gun
- Driller ( as need arise )
To support the zero waste philosophy, use recyclable materials in your art craft like plastic bottles and jars, plastic bags, papers, cartons, tires and many more trash that can be recycled.
To start with, internet is the best source of information and full of easily downloadable books and tutorials. There are also available video instructions in YouTube.
You can learn how to make greeting cards, origami basics, flower making, punch craft, quilting, how to sew bags and purses, DIY frames, vases made of carton, simple paper mache sculpture, lightweight furniture and terrarium using materials like old newspapers and magazines, cereal cartons, corrugated carton, old jars ( plastic or glass) old bottles, old clothes and old fabrics, left-over materials from sewing shops and many more . These craft areas are very easy to learn thus I have blogs talking about these so as to encourage you that if I can do it, you can do it too.
So keep learning more and more art and craft techniques and keep mastering your skills. Who knows, someday you can be a craft teacher or you may have your own craft business or your own craft website. Do not be discouraged if your first try and attempt is not as good as you expect, do not look down on your abilities.Nothing is so small that it does not matter. It is always good to look back and see your humble beginning.
The step-by-step photos of the center table above.
Believe me, you can also do crafts like these. Be a part of helping our environment clean and beautiful. God gave man the stewardship of His creations. We have to take the responsibility of preserving its life and beauty. Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.“