Let’s Talk Trash: Inspiration and zero waste

To inspire literally means to breathe life into. What inspires you?

What captures your attention long enough to make you want to bring it to life? And, call us biased, but we’ll add this N95 mask filter to your inhale: how can you realize your inspiration with the lightest of impact, or even while cleaning up so-called-waste on our incredible planet?

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Inspiration doesn’t require us to have skills, at least not at first. It seems much more like following the scent of something that smells the sweetest. It is the wind filling the sails to carry us across the lake, but it isn’t the boat or sudden download of knowing your port from your starboard.

Big Magic, a top selling non-fiction about creativity by Elizabeth Gilbert, talks about ideas being alive and floating about looking for someone to give them 3D reality.

Do you find the same ideas sparking for an upcycling project each time you see a pile of wood scraps in your garage? Do you imagine a better way for us to be repurposing outdated books or plastic found on beaches? Have you noticed your workplace creating a waste product that could be used by the community or another industry as a resource? Do you have a great idea to harness wind or wave energy?

There are no limits to the call of the wilds of your imagination.

So many of the stories that capture our attention started with someone listening to the sometimes quiet voice of inspiration.

Dutch teenager Boylan Slats was doing a school project when the bird of an idea alighted on his mind. Years later, his concept of a solar-powered, ocean plastic cleanup flotation system has the world’s attention and millions in funding.

More locally, the Fibre Space collective, a fibre arts space for sewing, knitting and other textile classes and shared use of machines, came from a few women watching the documentary The True Cost, about the wasteful fast fashion industry.

Let’s Talk Trash finds great inspiration in Sweden’s ReTuna mall concept, a shopping mall located next to the recycling depot where everything sold is receiving its second life. In 2019 it made 1.3 million in sales, clearly showing it was the scent of a great idea.

Are you inspired to start some version of an upcycled goods storefront or construction materials re-store? Let us know.

Adapting an old adage, we could say: “Before inspiration, sort your recycling and take out the compost. After inspiration, sort your recycling and take out the compost.”

So, it’s not that we stop doing the tasks that we may shuffle to the bottom of our lists to care for the earth. It’s more that we sprinkle in listening for the unique inspirations that could come to us individually.

What wants to quicken in the belly of your imagination? What skills might you need to nurture it to life? Inspired planting!

Let’s Talk Trash is qathet Regional District’s waste-reduction education program. For more information, email info@LetsTalkTrash.ca or go to LetsTalkTrash.ca.

Copyright © Powell River Peak


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