Painting In Green: Rewarding Ways To Turn Your Trash Into Art

There are many reasons why more and more people are eschewing a reliance on animal products and embracing the vegan lifestyle. And you’d better believe that they are! This year’s Veganuary was a fully fledged record breaker with a staggering 183% increase on last year with 79,000 omnivores taking part to try the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle and 168,542 people taking part overall.

The reasons for this increase are both uniquely personal and extremely varied. Many are people who love animals and can no longer reconcile their love of all creatures with their predilection for eating and wearing them on a regular basis. Others are people who have seen their health gradually deteriorate after years and years if a diet rich in meat, eggs and dairy products. All those saturated fats are bound to take a toll and there’s a mounting body of evidence to suggest that the so-called Western diet (usually characterised by a slab of meat accompanied by a starchy carbohydrate and a flourish of green here and there) is fundamentally unhealthy and leads to overeating and obesity not to mention an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. Yet, as our awareness of the global impact of our planet’s reliance on animal products rises as a result of documentaries like Cowspiracy and The Earthlings more and more people are turning to a vegan diet and lifestyle simply because it represents a more sustainable option for a planet that is fast running out of resources. Thus, many vegans are also embracing the zero waste lifestyle. Inspired by the likes of Bea Johnson, author of Zero Waste Home and Lauren Singer of Trash Is For Tossers these people take inventive and creative measures to reduce or even eliminate the damaging landfill waste that is slowly killing our planet.

Getting creative
Adapting to a greener vegan lifestyle demands a certain level of creativity. We learn to embrace new dishes and ingredients which we may not have previously appealed to us as our tastes change and learn to cook new dishes while still giving them our own personal flourishes. But for the artistically inclined, a zero waste vegan lifestyle is an opportunity to take this creativity to the next level. Here we’ll look at ways in which you can transform your trash into bonafide works of art that will further beautify your home, dazzle visitors or even provide a lucrative revenue stream as a side hustle. In many cases, all you’ll need are some rudimentary tools and Henkel Bulk Adhesives. Here are just a few projects that you might want to make your own…

Papier mache
Paper and card are widely recyclable but this doesn’t mean that we should always be recycling. Recycling is certainly hugely preferable to putting our waste in a landfill but it’s not without its shortcomings. Plus, many papers and cards that look like they should be recyclable are actually coated with polymers making them unsuited to recycling. Thus, making artistic creations out of papier mache is an inventive and artistic way of disposing of old paper. Check out the work of Michelle Reader if you need inspiration.

Working tyrelessly
Old rubber tyres which have worn bald or become punctured can usually be melted down to help to make asphalt but they can also be made to create profoundly beautiful works of art. By using the tyre as a raw material you can carve all sorts of beautiful designs and motifs into the body of the tyre. Check out what Belgian artist Wym Delvoye has been able to create with this unorthodox material.

It’s all going down the tubes!
Many of us toss our toilet roll holders into the recycling without giving it a second thought, but these little cardboard tubes are an extremely pliable and versatile material which has been used to create some truly wondrous sculptures. They’re also great for getting your kids involved in your creative enterprises. Inventive young minds can turn these innocuous cylinders into anything from trees to Christmas tree lights. With a little adult supervision and a whole lot of imagination, they can be transformed into napkin rings, candy holders, or even Halloween decorations.

Create with collage
Collage is a wonderful way in which creatives can repurpose a wide range of used materials, incorporating a huge range of colours and textures to create amazing pieces of wall art. If you’re seeking inspiration check out the work of Jane Perkins or Rodrigo McCoubrey.

Your trash can be an impediment to the environment or it can facilitate your creative awakening. All it takes is a little imagination and a whole lot of persistence!

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