Creative Approach Goes Beyond "Green"
Photos and Story from the 2009 Flower Show.
Upcycling is a new term finding its way into the Going Green vocabulary. Quite simply, upcycling gives discarded items a new and alternate life (such as grocery bags crochetted into a handbag). The idea is a step beyond the traditional reduce-reuse-recycle philosophy. The creators of the community's annual flower show use this idea every year, but this story is about a popular ocean display that built awareness about the problems with dumping trash in our oceans.
PHOTO ABOVE: Mermaid Madi Hart tells flower show guests about the materials that were creatively used in the "Cast Off Coral Reef" Display.
PHOTO ABOVE: The Flower Show Gang is made up of a group of community residents, volunteers and staff. They work together to build the flower show exhibit each year.
The Flower Show Gang used upcycling to a larger scale when it solicited for trash such as foam packaging, grocery bags, water bottles, discarded corks, broken dishes, fabric, and yarn peices then "repurposed" those items into art. The result was a beautiful under the sea exhibit called "Cast Off Coral Reef." According to many of the guests, the exhibit stole the show. It was a great example of creativity and conservancy. The backdrops were painted with discarded paints donned under the sea scenes with dolphins, sharks, sea creatures and a sunken ship. In the foreground, more than 1000 crochetted coral peices were assembled with fish made of newspaper and glue, anemones made of cork and dishes, jelly fish of bubble wrap and many more creatures.
Two of the residents made 80% of the coral investing more than 1000 hours of needle time.
PHOTOS ABOVE: Left: Amos Seldomridge and Josie Miller show off some of their fancy needle work. Middle: An example of some of the integrated upcycled elements as sea creatures. Right: Linda Landis led the upcycling efforts with residents across the community.
The 2009 Flower Show's Theme "Oceans of Blooms" provided an interesting outlet for upcyling. As one guest pointing out, "it is a shame but, a lot of the world's coral reefs are actually covered in trash, maybe this exhibit will remind folks about the importance of protecting our oceans." More than 6000 guests enjoyed the creative use of materials in all the seaside scenes in this year's show including: the Dock at Dawn, the Secret Beach Get-Away, the Sandcastle Beach and the Victorian Cottage Garden.
PHOTOS ABOVE: Left: Guests look at the lighthouse centerpiece. Right: The community was pleased to welcome many, many guests for the three days of the show.
The green story continues. The Flower Show exhibits were upcycled again. Five organizations, contacted the community to borrow parts of the exhibit for other events. Among them are Indian Creek Church of the Brethren (youth ministry fundraiser), Christopher Dock High School (Prom Decor), and Meals on Wheels (luncheon fundraiser).
Shouldn't we all challenge ourselves to look at everyday items and put them to greater use. In producing a community flower show, this is one of the prime motivators and cost savers!