BeyondConsumerism

Providing tools and support to families, citizens, and activists to counter our consumerist culture and to create new social norms about how to have a high quality of life and a reduced ecological footprint.

Re-use, Recycle...and Create!

bicycle chain doormat

For Americans raised during the Great Depression and World War II, it was second nature to find new uses for old things, from resewing flour sacks into clothes to using milk bottles as flower vases.

The modern "repurposing" movement offers fun—and funky—ways to tap into your creativity while also saving money and minimizing resource use. From electronics and board games to clothing and furniture, there are endless items that can be diverted from landfills and reused for new ends—as long as you're willing to put in a little elbow grease.

For fun and creative tips on how to upcycle everyday objects into useful or decorative items, check out Shoestring magazine. Also, check out Instructables.com for unconventional DIY activities and instructional videos.

The website Built by Kids is devoted to do-it-yourself projects that parents and children can collaborate on, like herb gardens planted in a wheelbarrow, refurbished tatami tables, and handmade wagons.

To find new-to-you materials to salvage and transform, explore the latest crop of thrift shops, second-hand stores, and consignment boutiques that's popping up around the country. Search the National Thrift Store Directory for locations near you.