17: Creative Reuse Business District

My Trashmagination dream is to start America’s first creative reuse business district. What is that?

  • a place with businesses and non-profits that work towards creative reuse all in one place
  • a place that provides employment for people who love to design & produce items from trash
  • a place where people could shop, take classes and get items fixed

Why is it my dream to make America’s first creative reuse business district?

  • I would love for there to be more careers that involve creative reuse of trash. I would love to work in a community of people who are just as excited about finding elegant and beautiful solutions to trash.
  • While there are lots of videos about how to make things from trash, I think it is more inspiring to see demonstrations of people making things from trash in person – learn about how materials work.
  • When people see trash being made into cool stuff, they might make different purchasing decisions – such as more secondhand items or more creatively made items.
  • If it was a place where you could get lots of items fixed, people might fix things instead of throwing them away. It might cause people to buy things that are higher quality and fixable, rather than so disposable.
  • I would love to buy items without producing trash and thus have less packaging to creatively reuse!

There is such a place in Sweden, called the ReTuna Återbruksgalleria. This video shows how it works. It looks like a shopping mall, but all the store encourage creative reuse.

There are many reasons why this model works in Sweden, including robust recycling centers and a culture that encourages purchasing secondhand. Also, you can get a tax break for fixing broken items:

 

Checklist of Actions You Can Take, Inspired by this Podcast

  • Tell me about creative reuse business districts – any one-stop shop area where you can purchase items that would likely have gone in the trash if that district didn’t exist.
  • Visit and donate items to a Creative Reuse Center near you – they are the closest thing we have to a creative reuse business district – Directory of creative reuse centers around the world
  • Share this idea with someone who might help – if you know someone who could help make this dream come true, let me know! Introduce them to Trashmagination.

Other Inspirations for Trashmagination’s Creative Reuse Business District

Collection bins at Eco-Cycle Center for Hard to Recycle Materials, July 2012

Collection bins at Eco-Cycle Center for Hard to Recycle Materials, July 2012

Bicycle part and yoga mat collection at Eco-Cycle Center for Hard to Recycle Materials, July 2012

Bicycle part and yoga mat collection at Eco-Cycle Center for Hard to Recycle Materials, July 2012

 

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