Trash to Treasure - Join us on our journey to a sustainable future!

Organization Name:
South Florida Reuse and Recycling Institute dba Trash to Treasure Creative Reuse Center
City & State:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
This postcard is used to bring new members into our creative reuse center. With a mission of promoting the 3-R’s, we are very aware of the impact that printed material has on the environment. We always print on 100% recycled paper and use vegetable based ink. Besides just using recycled paper, we wanted to reduce the amount of paper so we chose a postcard format. We used the front of the postcard to grab people’s attention and the back for all the information about the services we offer. We also included the eco audit box to help people think beyond trees when thinking about recycled paper. The postcard is innovative for the same reason our center is innovative: it displays common everyday items that members of our society throw away daily and shows that they can be beautiful and actually do have value. The postcard and our center demonstrates that it is not necessary to go to an art store to purchase supplies when there are interesting and colorful items available for free.
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
Our focus is on helping the public deepen their understanding that the "stuff" of our lives is a large part of the environmental problems we face today. Reduce, reuse and recycle is an important component of building a more sustainable future. In September of 2009 the EPA came out with a study stating that 29% of US green house gas emissions are from our STUFF (extraction or harvest of materials, production, transport of goods, provision of services, and disposal). At our center we broaden people’s understanding of the 3-R’s. We help them understand that the issue is bigger than just “keeping things out of the landfill”. It is also about reducing carbon and climate change and improving environmental and economic justice issues. Buying used, using what is already available, and buying local are essential to living a sustainable life that doesn’t negatively impact the earth or the animals and people living on it.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
The success of our organization’s ability to reduce waste, keep resources out of the landfill, and provide inexpensive art supplies to teachers, artists, and the public has increased greatly because of the colorful postcard we were able to create using the Adobe software provided to us by TechSoup. The more people we get into the center using our supplies instead of buying new ones, the more resources we save for future generations. The postcard gets people’s attention and keeps it so they take the time to come visit the center. Once they see the community we are forming and all the amazing supplies and resources we have to offer they are hooked. Since we have created the postcard our organization has exploded. In 2009, we served 116, 133 people in the community through our members, and diverted 21, 153 lbs from the waste stream! We are excited with the growth of our organization and look forward to spreading the word even more in the upcoming years!
Creative Submission - Files