Sunday, December 26, 2010

Other Projects

Wrapping Presents with Reused Materials
I am a big fan of reusing materials.  There are a number of misconceptions about recycling, particularly plastic recycling.  Generally, it makes sense to reduce material consumption and to reuse materials as much as possible.  In architecture, reusing materials is often extraordinarily valuable.  I spent a year at the Rural Studio as an outreach fellow.  Many of the early projects at the Rural Studio creatively reused materials for building, such as the Yancy Tire Chapel and the Mason's Bend Glass Chapel, which was constructed with used car windshields.  
Of course, it's a great idea to reuse an existing building rather than tearing down an existing building and rebuilding.  If that isn't possible, there are some great organizations like the Rebuilding Exchange, which help homeowners to effectively deconstruct and redistribute materials.  These are, of course, bigger ideas with regard to reuse.  
I also appreciate much more modest ideas for reuse.  I try to purchase clothes and home goods as much as possible from thrift stores.  I also reuse materials for tasks such as wrapping presents and packaging items for mail.  This year I found cream packing paper, a DiNapoli aluminum can, and a plastic mushroom carton to be ideal for wrapping presents.  Paired with ribbons, which are easily reused and plant trimmings, the reused materials were great for wrapping.   
What are some of your best reuse tips?
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