Reuse: A New Vision for a New Holiday Contest
There was a great article on Planet Green the other day about "Reuse"--that often-neglected arrow on the "reduce-reuse-recycle" trifecta--finally coming into its own. Reuse is perhaps the most difficult of the 3 R's because it doesn't merely require action, like recycling, or restraint, like reducing consumption: it requires vision. Reusing isn't just wearing your clothes until they wear out, or using glass jars for storage. It also includes repurposing or "upcycling." There is kind of a mystique about upcycling, or the creative reuse of materials that might other be trash, perhaps because it is common on homemade sites like Etsy, where aluminum cans might be cut into sculptures or seatbelts woven into bags. One doesn't have to be a self-proclaimed artist to begin looking at trash with a new eye. That's why New Dream is adding an Upcycled Decoration Contest to our yearly Simplify the Holidays campaign. Now is the time to start saving those bottle caps and looking at your trash for undiscovered festive possibilities. After all, most holiday traditions were born from people creating a celebration out of what was on hand, and something that most of our households are rich in is stuff just ripe for creative re-use. So check out the guidelines and contest rules and start looking for ways to develop your "reuse" skills for the holidays. While you're at it, submit a story or tip about a low-waste holiday tradition for our 2009 revised Simplify the Holidays booklet.