Sustainable Souls Project: Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

The Sustainable Souls Project is a monthly artist collaboration inspired by sustainability issues, concerns, ideas, and thoughts.  Each month, they pick a sustainability topic and create awareness through art, using the monthly theme as inspiration.  Projects may include art-journaling, mixed media, assemblage and more. The idea is to create awareness around Sustainability through art, one paint stroke at a time! As this is a topic close to my heart I am happy to participate this month.

This month’s theme is: Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

I repurposed an old canvas of mine for this theme

I didn’t like the acrylic painting that was originally underneath but I decided to “recycle” parts of the painting and cover other parts with trash and other texture making materials up.

My neighborhood is pretty much recycled – it was brand new and nice at some point, then people lost interest and treated it badly and now it is up and coming again. I am glad it wasn’t totally destroyed and wasted before it was discovered as love able again.

 

I stamped with some of my Stroll Through the Hood Stamp Sets onto painted cardboard and colored in some of the images with water color.

Can you imagine that this is how the area – about 10 minutes from my house –  that is now Liberty State Park looked like pre 1976 ?

(Photo from the Archives of the Friends of Liberty State Park)

We have come a long way – and then we haven’t. 

Recycling has always been a big topic during my upbringing in Germany. I learned about bringing bags to shops and not littering in the 80s in school and it has become such a norm to recycle everything, from glass – divided by brown and white glass, paper, cork, batteries, plastic garbage, compost. You are pretty much a frowned upon person if you do not recycle or do not bring bags to a shop. But then you have news and pictures like this:

Read about garbage patches in the ocean and what happens with our plastic garbage, how long it takes to “disappear” and the effects on the ocean life.

I think we need to make more choices in what we buy and how we buy  and then how we recycle/reuse/repurpose. I am not perfect myself and I am constantly catching myself not being responsible enough but here some small steps – I hope I don’t sound too preachy :

  • I bring bags and boxes when I do grocery shopping -instead of having someone stuff my shopping in double- or triple layered plastic bags – hey good reason to make some handmade cool looking artsy grocery bags ;)
  • I avoid buying plastic bottles – I don’t buy six packs which are held together by plastic rings – it is hard here to avoid it totally but keeping an eye open helps.
  • I have a fancy water glass bottle for the gym – it looks pretty cool and I can put it in the dishwasher when I need to
  • I try to buy as much at a farmer’s market or non packaged fruit and vegetables as possible – I mean – come on those bananas- they are protected already
  • Make your coffee at home – put it in a nice travel mug- it is cheaper but hey- do not use those single cup plastic coffee makers – then I’d rather suggest take you travel mug and buy your coffee at a coffee place to go.
  • Bring some fun silverware to work for lunch, instead of getting a pack of plastic flatware – it looks so much more classy anyway  ;)
  • Come on- you have a dishwasher and on a special occasion just put out the normal plates and silver flatware for a party and then throw them into the dishwasher. Or wash them by hand – nothing better then some bonding/gossiping time with a friend/spouse/sibling while doing some dishes – and if you do not wanna do that- put your kids to work …didn’t hurt us ;)
  • there is so much more- but this is a good start

Ahhh- there- I got preachy…sorry…but you know what….I feel so strongly about this – it should be something we all take care of …I hope you will understand: There is only Planet A !

Comments (12)

  • Christy Strickler

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    I love the way the canvas turned out! I will have to try this the next time I don’t like what I painted on the canvas.

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      Thank you so much Christy! I do this all the time- it is a great way to just reuse the canvases and often it makes some awesome texture :)

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  • Sandra L.

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    Love your recycled project. No apology needed for being preachy….nothing wrong with speaking your mind for a cause. I am the queen of recycling in my family. I always think twice before I put something in the trash or the recycling bins. Much to the dismay of my family I have even picked up discarded items to bring home for a project. For example bottle caps….have a jar of those. I use glass spaghetti sauce jars in my cupboards and in my craft room. I paint the lids and you have a free glass jar instead of going out any buying something.
    I hate plastic anything and wish companies would go back to glass jars for juices and soda (though I rarely drink soda). I recycle tea bags…the tea goes in the flowers on my balcony and the coffee grounds goes in the garbage disposer and the filers are air dried for projects. Love “recycle shame”….I am guilty of that and on more than one occasion but then again maybe it’s the German in me. lol.

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      totally agree with you- and yes to the plastic containers- I hate them too. LOL- maybe since I am German I have a bit of the recycle shame in me too ;)

      Reply

  • Tina Walker

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    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for sharing your art with us again this month! I love your recycled piece – I personally think the recycled projects always turn out better than the originals…so many more layers, stories, and history. Interesting facts and images too – such an important topic and one I will definitely be focusing on more in the future. ♥

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  • Sue Clarke

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    Thanks for the post. I take items home from work to recycle but I can’t take it all. I work in a school kitchen and my recycle bin is only picked up every other week here. The school only recycles cardboard. Drives me nuts to throw large cans away.
    Hard to believe that pic of the park with the dignified Lady.
    We do have one of those filters for the Keurig and then you can use any coffee that you want to without throwing away tons of little pods. I was told that they were planning a pod that can be recylced but my guess is that folks won’t want to rinse it out (the convenience of the Keurig is key).

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  • Stephanie

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    Hi Nat – you are not preachy at all. I am such a green freak that I pick out cans and glass from the office trash and put them in the recycling container, the same with paper from the trash into the recycling bin. However, I do not “recycle shame” my co-workers, that would be preachy – lol!

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      LOL- recycle-shame- I loooove that. Germans do that a lot btw- LOL.

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  • karen

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    Very good read. We were on vacay in Germany a few years ago & read that it is one of the greenest countries in the world. I do pretty well but realize from reading this I can tweek a few things & do better. Although I love my Keurig. We have a filter for it & will start using that instead of the pods.

    The painting is also really great!!!

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    • Nathalie Kalbach

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      oh that is so cool that they do have a filter for the Keurig! I didn’t know that. As said Karen- I can do a lot better myself- I have to constantly remind myself on some things.

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  • Tracy Krueger

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    I love it Nathalie! The texture is amazing

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