Next time you finish reading a magazine, try cutting it into pieces and making a bag out of it.
This is what many local vendors have done with items such as bike tires, billboards, circuit boards and bottle caps. Their finished products were on display at the first CU Recycled Art and Product Extravaganza sponsored by the CU Recycling Center Wednesday in the Glenn Miller Ballroom. This event helped kick off the campus-wide Recycle Mania competition.
The Extravaganza featured home decor items such as picture frames, clocks and flowers, as well as tote bags, purses, beads and socks. Prices ranged from $5 to $100 for the items.
Recycling outreach coordinator Amy Kuo, a senior environmental studies major, helped put together the event.
“We invited local businesses and artists that use everyday items and turn them into everyday things like belts, picture frames and beads,” Kuo said.
The Recycling Center also wanted to help show students that there are businesses that can use recycled materials successfully.
While the Center did invite students to showcase their artwork, no students came forward to participate in the event.
Carol Baum, the founder of Makin’ Time Computer Art Clocks and a Louisville resident, constructs clocks from old computer parts and circuit boards. She first got the idea to use recycled technology when the chief engineer of a television station she was working for was leaving for a different job. As a gift, she made him a clock from some of the equipment that he had used at the station.
“Everyone wanted one after that, and so the idea just caught on,” Baum said.
Baum has now been making clocks for 13 years and believes it is very important to take care of the earth by trying to use recycled materials in everyday life. When asked why she chose to make clocks, she said, “They are fun and functional and made out of something obsolete.”
Baum’s clocks are sold at The Middle Fish on Pearl Street.
Davidson Lewis founded the company Ecologic Designs, which specializes in adventure gear and clothing. Every one of the products sold by the company is made of recycled material out of Boulder County. Goggle straps, snowboard bags and clothing made from hemp were some of the products on display at the Extravaganza.
“I am a big outdoor advocate, and when I was little, I wanted to know why everything that I was buying was from China,” Lewis said. “I wanted to help the local circuits environmentally and socially.”
Lewis carries the recycled materials he picks up, like billboards, in an old ambulance that runs on vegetable oil. Lewis is in the process of contacting local businesses to sell his products and sells all of his items online at .
Mary Pierce featured accessories made from magazines, newspapers and bottle caps. She runs the company Brazil Arts and all of her products are made by a cooperative in Brazil. Adolescent youth work in the cooperative is used to keep youth off the streets and to stay in school.
Pierce sells her items in boutiques and markets around Colorado, but has yet to approach any Boulder businesses.
“I wanted to bring the Brazilian culture to the United States while giving opportunities to an impoverished area that I love,” Pierce said.
Pierce is currently in the process of applying for Fair Trade status for her products.
Some other vendors that were present included: the Buffalo Exchange, a second-hand clothing store in Boulder, Peko, a company that makes socks out of a corn base and Cragear, which featured picture frames made from bicycle tires and bracelets made from old ropes.
Kuo is looking forward to making the extravaganza an annual event.
“I’m proud of helping put on a good event to help promote recycling,” Kuo said. “It’s a good way to reach the Boulder community and campus.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Ashley Herzberger at Ashley.Herzberger@thecampuspress.com.