Last year I talked with my 7th-grade students about the three Environmental R’s:
There’s another one we can add to that. Repurpose means to take something you might otherwise throw away and make something new out of it. I’m huge crafts fan – I obsessively save toilet paper rolls, beer caps, and ribbons. This Christmas, my boyfriend and I made a wreath using toilet paper rolls, green paint, red beads, and a glue gun. But this prompt made me remember the photograph above, of the egg carton flower box, which I made as part of an event for children with my sister and some other friends at the Queens Botanical Garden in 2010.
We had a few crafts with different media. As for the one in the picture, styrofoam egg cartons are notoriously difficult to recycle. We decided to use the color options (blue, pink, yellow), as well as crayons for the gray ones, to repurpose them into a children’s craft. We cut them into rose shapes and tulip shapes, trying to vary them. With the crayons, I think, it looks distinctly childlike and heartwarming. We connected the cut-out section of the egg carton to a whole half by way of green pipe cleaners. Even now, I smile thinking of what a nice warm day that was with friends, teaching younger kids that throwing it out doesn’t have to be the only option. To me, the craft says “innocence”… as much as plastic can say innocence 😉
Environmentally, the Czech Republic is an interesting place. Recycling is not as popular in a widespread way as in the states, but we do have color-coded bins for paper, plastic, glass (even sorted into clear and dark glass – gotta distinguish between the wine and beer bottles), and aluminum. There’s currently a big problem with smog and air pollution. If you drive or ride a train through the countryside, you’ll see a landscape full of fields, many of which bloom with bright yellow rapeseed in the spring – which I love, but others dislike because it’s a subsidized cash crop and it smells 😛 Sometimes you’ll see fields full of solar panels… and I was shocked to find out, in my first year, that people also HATE these! They see them as a waste of space where crops could otherwise be grown. On the other hand, Czechs are huge nature-lovers and many take every opportunity they can to be outside – gardening, cycling, hiking in the many local hills or national parks.
Photos from pruvodcevyzivou and Prague Radio
In response to the Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge with the word “Repurpose.”