Thursday, June 5, 2014

Reuse Everything

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.  We try our best in our household to abide by these guidelines and act as stewards of our planet.  Of course, we aren't perfect at it, but we do what we can.

My love of repurposing cardboard is no secret, and this week we finally tackled the cardboard boxes I've had stashed in a corner for over a month. (Many thanks to jb for the patience while I got around to actually doing something with this eyesore.)

We made a collaborative art piece from boxes we rescued from the recycling bin.

I set the kids up by cutting out a large square for the background and a few simple shapes.

In a paint-by-numbers fashion I had the kids paint the various pieces, including the background. 

There wasn't a lot of detail work so both Leo and Zoe could participate. 

Once the paint dried we glued the shapes to the background to make a picture. 

It was like putting together a puzzle, except with a bit more creative freedom. 

Then Leo added some of the finishing touches while Zoe napped. This was a bit more intricate - as you can see from Leo's serious artist face.  

Tada! The finished product with the two very proud artists - the smaller one covered in paint. 

So that's how we re-used one small thing in the super-small scale of our household - but one of our dear family friends is working on a project that could re-purpose waste on a large scale and in a way that could benefit whole communities. 

Imagine if plastic bottle waste could not only be recycled - but used to create environmentally friendly and affordable construction material for homes.  

That's exactly what Uncle Maddie is trying to accomplish through her project with the Engineers Without Borders. Requiring less energy than recycling, they've developed a way to re-purpose plastic bottles as thatch roofing that will be an improvement over the commonly used corrugated metal roofing.

You can learn more about the project and donate HERE.  Maddie and her team will be travelling to Ecuador in August to field test the production process.  The more money they raise, the bigger impact they can have.  I hope you'll consider donating and/or sharing.  


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