Friday, March 4, 2016

Repurpose..Recycle..Reuse

We have a standing joke in the family that my parents don't love my sister because they never bought any clothes for her. It is not entirely true even though she exaggerates it with her dramatic accent and eye rolls. The reason behind her allegations is our pictures. We have worn same dresses at different occasions. When I outgrew my dresses my mother saved them for my sister and when she did they were used in imaginative and innovative ways. We still have a comforter at home made from our birthday dresses. There's an old dhurrie which has stayed with us for god knows how many years and it came into being when we couldn't fit in to our childhood sweaters. Cutting old and damaged saris for scarves, saving leftover gulal from Holi for Diwali rangolis was a common practice every year. I can write a great list on "things to do with denim" in my sleep. Buying and sewing appliques over tshirts and pullovers was a regular feature at our place. 

There are so many reminders of our childhood every time I step in to my parents house.  Well all of this was not entirely done to preserve memories but to repurpose-reuse-recycle. Sentimental value was just an added bonus. Back in the day when our parent's generation had less resources and the choices were fewer they had to struggle for a lot of things.  I guess that's the reason why they value money more than us?.  Whatever maybe their reasons, I think it was a good practice. A more environment friendly way to live life.

I have often talked about the need to give it back to the environment. It is something I am very passionate about.  The statistics are alarming. The scientists across the globe report overwhelming things about the environment every day.  We as humans are destroying the planet in myriad ways. I keep thinking if this is what we are going to leave our children with? And the very thought scares me. 

One thing that I really picked in Germany was being environment conscious. The dedication that people around me had towards their community, city and country was amazing. I have documented a bit here.  There were dustbins everywhere. Nobody left the house without their grocery bags. People religiously collected containers, bottles, cans for recycling. I assumed that it would be here as well and I was quite disappointed to see none of those things around me. I have tried to adopt environment friendly practices in India and in general wherever I am. My actions are mainly driven out of my need to give back. My choices matter. Every little bit matters.
I am not talking about big things. Baby steps. Little by little every day. 

Moving to a new place and setting up a place comes with its own set of challenges. This has given me a chance to put my creativity to some use and implement recycling wherever I can. 

Last weekend was one such for me. I worked on my first papier mache bowl. I collected all the promotional flyers and old magazines and used those to make this bowl. When the bowl was done I painted it green and gave it some touches using an old silver nail polish to give it that "distressed" look. 
To celebrate beautiful weather on Sunday I went for a long walk (still not able to run because of my injury) and collected pine cones and pretty looking dried plant materials. I dried them in the oven and sprinkled vanilla oil on them. It sits pretty now on my bathroom shelf. 


Some projects that I did in the past and planning to do them again are:
Made this in 2013 using Henna and Newspaper
This was my favorite tshirt and used to be plain grey. One fine day I was totally bored and I ended up painting this. It is done using acrylic colors 

My mother gifted me a beautiful salwar-kamiz back in 2008 and it breathed its last in 2013. I just couldn't discard it and thats when I decided to repurpose the fabric and and came up with these things:

Paper Mache Pen holder


















The album cover was made using an old calendar and I added colored paper leaves:

Lesson Learnt: Add butter paper in between sheets :)

Old cookie box turned in to a storage can

This was a cookie box which I almost pulled out from the dustbin. The hoarder in me couldn't just throw it away. I turned it in to a storage box and used to carry my brushes/ pencils/ colored pens inside it..

I am quite excited about my upcoming projects and can't wait to share them.
And together we shall reduce our carbon footprints. A step at a time.

No - This post is not inspired by Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar speech which talks about climate change ( I will not get in to his intentions). I read det-res post on minimizing wastage and minimalist living. It really made me very happy and I couldn't resist doing a write-up on it. 



A few days back I picked up Richard Feynman's biography written by Lawrence Krauss at the library, and started reading about him. What really caught my attention was this particular thing that he mentioned about how we’re all stardust and if you held up your thumb and forefinger against the night sky, and looked through a hole no bigger than a coin – that area would hold a 100,000 galaxies.

Billions of stars. The point, you may ask? The universe is huge, and yet our existence is a tiny fraction the scheme of things. Isn't it a miracle? Is it not a good reason to preserve our environment and give our childgaren a better future. I say yes.


*I had deja vu of writing those words somewhere, some frantic searching later I found this.

Ciao..

1 comment:

  1. Oh I love celebrity status. :)) Jokes apart, you are very talented. So happy to read this post and find like minded people. Nothing makes me happier than my blog post to encourage enough thought that it makes people write their own blog post!

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