Tuesday, September 23, 2008

adventures in Talkin' Trash!

I don't go dumpster diving nearly enough. And after my recent scrap searching adventure with Time Out NY, I vowed to go dumpster diving on a more frequent basis. Looking at what other people throw away is what inspired me to get into this business in the first place.

Having already quite the collection of scrap materials, I sometimes avoid walking past certain cool-looking types of scrap. I just don't have room to store everything with potential that I find. But I realized that I don't have to take everything home with me. I can encourage others to recycle, too. After all, that's what RePlayGround is all about - teaching other people that they're garbage can become great raw material for making new things.

So tonight a friend and I embarked on our first, in what I plan to make regular, Talkin' Trash adventure! The idea is to place handwritten notes on cool scrap materials and make suggestions for what they could be transformed into. Showing passersby what scrap materials can become if just looked at a little differently. An oversized planter can become a trash can. An old drawer can be turned on it's side to become a shelf. We started with a neat pile of metal spikey things. Those could become stakes to sections off a garden plot. And pretty pages from books can easily be turned into envelopes.

Stay tuned for more Talkin' Trash goodness coming your way. And who knows - you may just want to join in next time.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes. It's from Daniel Freitag of Freitag bags and he passed is on to me as I was researching my graduate thesis entitled Trash Nouveau.

"Waste is a natural resource in the wrong place. Change the place or the context and you have usable products."

Monday, September 22, 2008

Compost piles have no dress code

friend: "Whatcha doin' tomorrow night?"

me: "Going to a fundraiser for my compost pile. Wanna come?"

friend: "Um" {brief pause} "Sure!"

me: "Cool. It starts at 6:30 and it's at Urban Rustic."

friend: "I'll be coming right after work. What should I wear?"

me: "It's a compost pile. I think just about anything goes."


Wow! I can't believe this movie has been out for months and I just recently saw it for the first time. I have been pretty busy with moving, coordinating a big Pepsi event, and re-designing scrap for Terracycle, among other scrappy things.

Wall-e had such an important message with a great delivery. Well, anything in cartoon form gets my attention. This one was particularly well done. Wall-e is the last robot on Earth who's programmed to clean up garbage by compacting and stacking it.

The movie is sending a message about changing the way we live and also giving us hope that we can change. All of the humans were sent to space while robots cleaned the Earth. The humans were huge and floated around all day on hovers and never had to walk. They drank their food. They communicated with the person sitting next to them via the screen right in front of their face.

I won't give away the ending, but will say that what they craved was plant life, swimming, dancing.... earth. All of the things you can't get from a hovercraft or blended drink shake.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

fun with Pepsi

RePlayGround had a table at a Pepsi event recently and we had the best time showing everyone there how to upcycle Pepsi items into new, usable products.

We made soda bottle soap dishes and picture frames, cereal box wallets, Pepsi cup angels, and a whole lot more.

It just made my day when this email came through the inbox:

"We just wanted to say THANK YOU to you folks over at RePlayGround! It was our favorite tent at the Pepsi Festival and we are using all of the wonderful "repurposed" creations we made! We wanted to share these awesome photos of your staff as well. Wishing we lived closer so that we could join your group...

Future RePlayGround Interns???
Annie, Holly, Hattie and Tess"

Posted below are some photos that were sent from the event.

Happy recycling!

boxes... and more boxes

I recently moved my design studio and even though the new place is only 3 blocks from the old, I still had to pack up every single scrap material in the place. If you've ever moved, you know the importance of boxes.... and more boxes. I certainly do - because it's how I keep all of my scrap materials organized.

If you've ever gone to the grocery store on recycling day you can find bales of boxes stacked like a tree fort (a replayground of sorts?). Help get a second use out of those boxes. It's just silly to buy new ones, when so many used ones exist.

I do understand that moving ranks high as one of the most stressful life events. So if you're running out of time for a full-on box recollection, the next best thing is to buy them used - like these from usedcardboardboxes.com.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

pop up funnel

Why would anyone buy a funnel when they can make one with a few simple cuts?

Some friends were recently at my design studio helping me cut up soda bottles. We're using the bottoms of the bottles to make soap dishes, the centers of the bottles will become picture frames, so the top portion was the only part that made it to the recycling bin. Then a friend held up the top part and simply stated "funnel".

Of course!