Let's Talk Trash: Art therapy, part of the solution

On those days when you feel overwhelmed about all the ways we are stressing our planet’s resources, take a day off from the news.

Instead of getting inundated with disheartening statistics, and stories of impending doom, get creative. Be part of the solution in the most practical of ways. Mend something that is broken. Make upcycled art.

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It’s sometimes easy to get sucked into eddies of thought and conversation about all the ways we are messing up Mother Earth. And, while we need to be informed, being saturated with the same information from different angles may not be the best use of your energy. Redirecting your focus to the simple, and often fun, actions you can take right from the comfort of your home may be good medicine for the weary eco warriors out there.

Anytime you take the time to fix something instead of tossing it, you are making a difference. So, this week, how about getting into a project that reduces your footprint because it keeps you from heading to the trashcan or store?

You could stitch up that hole in your jacket; find out what’s really wrong with your leaky dishwasher; make some upcycled art with the kids using items from the bottom of the craft drawer and recycling bin; create something beautiful using only found objects you collect on a walk; transform that broken guitar into a work of art; do some baking using the fruit stockpiled in your freezer; or bake a pizza from leftovers in the fridge and pantry.

Don’t know how to do the creative project you have in mind? Then spend some quality time with someone who does. Friends and family are a wealth of knowledge, and we all know how good it feels to help someone out. Sure, you can also go online to download lessons on just about anything, but how about going lower tech for a change and really tapping into the resource of your community?

It’s just not the same to learn how to knit from a video on the internet as it is from your elderly neighbour, or your best friend. Who knows, when you show an interest in learning a new skill, friends and family may even offer materials and tools to get the task done better and cheaper. You can also take advantage of the communal tools available to you through drop-in or membership at places such as Fibre Space and Powell River Fine Arts Association.

In these last days of winter, we may find ourselves with more time and less daylight. Seize the opportunity to get creative and find your inner muse. Who knows? It may be lurking in the garage, or your sewing room, waiting to inspire.

Let’s Talk Trash is qathet Regional District’s waste-reduction education program.

Copyright © Powell River Peak

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