Reuse, then recycle

Published by Lori Pickert on October 17, 2007 at 01:56 AM


Well, I managed to miss Blog Action Day (topic: environment) due to a sick child. And I've missed a couple nights of sleep as well, so I'll try not to nod off while I write this.

f-constr-guitar.JPGThe pile of trash up above isn't destined for the recycle center or even the garbage — yet. First it's going to the art studio. Actually, this pile is destined to be part of an action-figure-scale Jedi temple.

After years of building with recyclables, I can no longer throw anything away without hesitating and thinking, Would this make a good steering wheel? bird beak? rocket fin? robot brain?

All of our clean, no-sharp-edges trash gets set aside for making models during projects, sculptures, toys, artwork, etc. Actually, once you have adopted this mindset, it's hard to ever look at a plastic cookie tray or mesh fruit bag the same way again.


Not only does this save things from the garbage and the landfill, but it saves money because you buy fewer art materials, so you saved the energy to make, distribute, and sell those items as well.

Of course, there's the added benefit that your children stop clamoring for sequins and googly eyes and instead start asking for more bottle tops and spaghetti sauce lids.

And eventually, when you are all done with the model/sculpture/toy/art you made, then it can be recycled. Or better yet, go to grandma's house.




Comment by molly on October 17, 2007 at 08:47 PM

you should see me try to kick all the carboard and containers and lids back into the closet floor every time I open it up for a dinner ingredient. we do the same thing around here. but i really need a better system for keeping it contained. i think they're breeding in there! :)

Comment by Lori Pickert on October 17, 2007 at 11:35 PM

if you come up with a good system, clue me in! :^) teachers were always asking us how to store these materials -- they take up so much room! (of course, it was much worse with 12 or 20 kids' worth of materials, but still ... i don't have a whole classroom to absorb it, either.)

i find i can get it down to a reasonable pile by nesting boxes & containers, etc., but then they just drag it all out again looking for just the right piece... :^)

Comment by Elisabeth on October 21, 2007 at 03:04 PM

This kind of posts are so great. Lovely recycles.

Comment by Lori Pickert on October 21, 2007 at 04:10 PM

thank you, elisabeth :^)

Comment by molly on November 2, 2007 at 08:51 PM

hi lori.
i just linked to this post AGAIN on the babycenter website:

Comment by Lori Pickert on November 2, 2007 at 08:59 PM

thank you, molly! :^)

Comment by renee @ FIMBY on December 8, 2008 at 03:25 AM

love it! It's like the art around our house. The kids and I made the recycled can robots this fall

Comment by Lori Pickert on December 8, 2008 at 04:36 PM

renee, we do a lot of project-related constructions. the kids use this kind of modeling to explore ideas and demonstrate things they know. the guitar up there was part of a project on musical instruments. it’s a great way to work in three dimensions after observational drawing.

Comment by Heather on July 12, 2009 at 06:27 AM

I don't know if this is still pertinant but I use the giant rubbermaid stacking drawers to stash our "junk" I also keep 2 large clear bins for the larger pieces. Because the drawers are sold individually you can add more as needed and you can rearrange them as your space dictates. Just thought I'd share! I love this blog and the great ideas you share!

Comment by Lori Pickert on July 12, 2009 at 02:08 PM

thank you, heather! :^)

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