One Woman Turns Trash Into Art… and a Business

January 7, 2011


According to the EPA the average American produces about 4.4 pounds of trash a day, 29 pounds per week, 1,600 pounds a year. There are lots of ways  to reduce that number that we’ve talked about at Flourish before such as compostingrecycling, etc. but here is a new one:

Lisa Hernandez tackles the waste problem by treating trash less as refuse and more like “reuse.”

The founder of the Long Beach Depot for Creative Reuse is making treasure from trash. Basically the idea is that there are trash cans for trash, thrift stores for clothes and appliances, but no place for all the things in between. So where does all that “junk” (coat hangers, wine corks, thread, fabric, rubber bands, etc.) go? Into the trash along with the rest. That’s where Lisa Hernandez comes in. Good magazine reports:

“Her project aims to find creative ways to re-purpose and re-imagine the “junk” that most of us throw out. The center’s mission—similar to the 30 year- old East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse—can be succinctly summed up in that old saying we know so well: One man’s trash is another’s treasure. Rather than throw out those old frames or fabric swatches, why not allow others to reuse them? To that end, Hernandez has set up shop in a 1,000 square foot storefront next to an art supply store in Long Beach, California’s art district selling things like mismatched buttons, carpet samples and scratched CDs for pennies.

Saving old paper clips and broken frames doesn’t sound revolutionary? Think again. Not only does it divert thousands of pounds of trash from landfill, it provides materials for cash strapped artists and teachers, and an opportunity for a second career for people like Hernandez who are looking for meaningful way to give back to their community.”

For a step by step guide to how you can get a similar center started on your own, read the rest of the Good Magazine article.


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