Artists Spotlight: Gina Tombleson and Consciously Crafted Jewelry

Pre-teen girls love their bling and Gina Tombleson started making jewelry at age 12. In the past four years she began to play with bicycle inner tubes!  For years Gina had made real feather earrings that were super fun and very pretty. But lots of folks were making feather earrings and creating a pair that stood out from the rest wasn’t the challenge she was looking for.

Gina explains, “Jewelry supplies can be expensive and were not always easily attainable when I lived rurally. In the days before ordering from Amazon, I often had to make do with whatever I already had in my art studio.  If I wanted something different to work with I would get creative by taking something apart and reusing its components in a new and resourceful way.IMG_6763 - Gina Tombleson

“I saw that some folks were using bicycle inner tubes, cutting them into all sorts of shapes and sizes, and then making them into clothing and jewelry. I thought that inner tubes would be such a fun medium to work with, and the idea of using something that is trash, and that I probably already had, somewhere at my house, was right up my alley.IMG_6789 - Gina Tombleson

“So I found an old blown out inner tube in a box in my garage, grabbed a pair of scissors, and practiced cutting it up to look like the feathers I had imagined in my mind. It didn’t take long before I added paint to make them even more delightful!”FarmFest sorting

Gina loves being able to tell folks who are trying on the earrings what they are made from, because it always elicits such a pleasantly surprised smile.  Using reclaimed materials challenges her to imagine how to be clever in previously unconsidered ways. And who doesn’t love repurposing something old? It is super satisfying knowing that what are now lovely earrings were once destined for the landfill!IMG_6851 - Gina Tombleson

Gina Tombleson and Consiously Crafted Jewelry are located at Table 37.

Artist Spotlight: Elsa Dye and Elsa Dye Handmade Jewelry

It’s time for spring cleaning and Elsa Dye is waiting for her friends to call her. She’s happy to take all those decorative metal tins that seem to be everywhere holding treats during the Christmas season. How many do YOU have in your attic/basement/garage?

Elsa first started experimenting with creating jewelry from repurposed decorative tins about five years ago.  Since she always loved tins because of the wide variety of lovely patterns that they come in, Elsa wanted to make something that celebrated that.Elsa_Dye_double_disc_tin_earrings - Elsa Dye

Getting more serious to learn her art medium better, she  further developed her tin jewelry by takings classes in traditional metalworking. Elsa reports , “Taking classes helped me refine my techniques and gave me new ideas to explore in my designs.”Elsa_Dye_rectangle_tin_earrings - Elsa Dye

And Elsa appreciates something more about what she is able to produce. “One of the reasons that I love working with reclaimed goods is because of the the history of the material.  It feels good to have an appreciation for a discarded item that has already led a useful life, and to be able to reshape it into something brand new so that it can  continue on!”Elsa_Dye_hinged_tin_earrings - Elsa Dye

Elsa also loves the ever changing variety of the material.  While she has developed her  style for the repurposed tin jewelry, “no two pieces are ever the same because I am always finding tins with new colors and patterns.  In a world where many things are designed to be exactly duplicated, it is really special to be able to make unique items that are the only one of their kind in the whole world. “Elsa_Dye_hinged2_tin_earrings - Elsa Dye

One amazing aspect of the McMinnville Recycled Arts Festival IS the uniqueness of the art produced by Elsa and the other artists. This is a golden opportunity to think of that special person in your life…..not only is Mother’s Day and Father’s Day coming up soon, but with some careful consideration, you can find an amazing gift for the graduate, the bride and groom, and even for your holiday gift giving.

Elsa Dye and Elsa Dye Handmade Jewelry can be found at Table #28.

 

Artist Spotlight: Janet Ronacher and Fiber Design By Janet

Sometimes something completely unexpected causes a life path to take a slight turn in a direction previously unexplored.  Janet Ronacher explains, “I began fusing plastic bags in my artwork after reading that the Hurricane in Haiti destroyed the dwellings of residents.  The monsoon rains that continued after the Hurricane horrified a Bend woman who decided to get her friends together to iron 10’ x 10’ tarps to give the Haitians some shelter.  I have never met the woman but I was so impressed with her can-do spirit as she sent many tarps to Haiti.”

And so, a seed was planted and Janet started to explore this new concept. After thinking about the woman in Bend and dreaming about the possibilities Janet started experimenting with small bags.  That included layering bags, ironing them
together until she had roughly a 12” x 24” piece of plastic that she could cut into strips and weave as baskets. C870E4A5-C23F-4414-8FD8-E8ABFFBEB9EF - Janet Ronacher

“I was surprised that the bags I had were not  enough to really work as I thought they should.  So I asked friends and neighbors for any bags they thought were bright and colorful for me to try.  I was shocked at the number of folks who were delighted to have a use for the bags.  That one basket the size of a 6” x 6” box used over thirty bags. It was difficult to count the bags and keep ironing and then weaving so I never counted again.”AFA5D070-9C87-4D32-957E-46063B6C56D9 - Janet Ronacher

(The difference between Janet and me (and maybe many of you) is that her work is art. Mine, at best, would be “craft”. This is a good time to explain that the jury process was used to separate out the work of people who, while done well, just did not reach that level of art we hoped to introduce to the public. Janet’s ability to take one of the biggest contributors to an environmental mess on our planet and produce something attractive and even functional is a talent that many do not have.)03B65C2A-E731-4A0D-9547-425A833F8C59 - Janet Ronacher (1)

“I feel good about using reclaimed materials as my medium since it is so plentiful and I feel compelled to keep as much as possible out of the oceans, waterways and food supplies of animals and humans.  I have read that plastic never really goes away and that it has a half life of over 400 years. Yes I might run out of materials eventually and my work will someday become waste also.  In the meantime I will continue to save the environment one bag at a time until scientists and engineers find a better alternative.”3542AE58-7144-4295-9F32-EFBB90327938 - Janet RonacherJanet Ronacher and Fiber Design By Janet will be located at Booth #31.

Artist Spotlight: Graham Rankin and Creations By BG

logoThe pathways people take early in life may never give a hint about a future activity. Although Graham Rankin  never took wood shop in school, the precise plan drawing he learned in drafting was a component that served as a basic skill. Later, in college he was hired by a crafts store to build picture frames, and another savvy element was added to his repertoire.

Today Graham is enjoying a rather hectic retirement. When he isn’t teaching one day a week for WOU, he helps with the family food processing business and is an active volunteer for Zero Waste McMinnville. Besides helping at events, he is one of the organizers for the McMinnville Recycled Arts Festival.   And in his spare time, he has taken over the garage and turned it into a shop of his own.

Fascinated with wine long before moving to McMinnville, Graham makes jokes about his large collection of corks and the various projects he has produced. He makes frames to enclose simple cork trivets of various sizes, including larger ones with handles to help carry long casseroles and lasagnas from the stove to the table. His champagne cork  trivet helps his wife remember their anniversary!

lasagna tray

Here in the middle of wine country, Graham has expanded his wine woodworking to include elements from a wine barrel, with the staves providing storage in various designs and the barrel top becoming a table.  tableaOne of the most popular items Graham designed is a wine and snack tray that can be held in one hand, permitting the holder to also eat. Many people who attend parties can see the benefit of that item! party tray

Graham uses wood from old barns and fences as well as mill ends that are scrap from a cabinet maker.  am pm

He is happy to offer custom work as well. For example, these cutting boards can be customized to show a favorite logo or cartoon character or even a photo. cutting board 2Creations By BG can be found at Booth # 29.

Not So Extreme Lifestyle

I’ve read about a woman in New York City who has been living a zero waste lifestyle and after a year only had a quart of trash to go to the landfill. and have learned that Millennial women are leading the way with this life style.  Why them?

Well,  it seems really radical to me, and I am making a decent effort to reduce my trash in all ways. The idea of producing only a quart of trash seems to involve a lot of work to prepare items that can be purchased in stores.  And yet I cook from scratch and preserve food all year long, so why not toiletries too?  Why does that “fully deep into it lifestyle” seem so hard?

Today I visited a family in Newberg where the choice to live zero waste is definitely in place. I expected to be bombarded with so many ideas that I wouldn’t know what to talk about with you but was really surprised when Joerg Peter spent his time with us talking about two issues: sorting trash and a home construction project.

With a sense of humor and a nod to marital harmony, Joerg concedes that his wife rules on the main and upper living levels and his domain includes the basement and the attic. So we soon were down in the basement to learn about his way of collecting the trash in his house and how he sorts.

He had a kitchen sized trash can that he had carried down to his sorting station tucked next to the stairs. The trash in the garbage can was clean….no wetness, no food scraps. All cans and bottles washed clean and dry.  In the sort station there was a small table, a few bins and several other small containers. Paper was laid flat in a pile, the better way to minimize space. Cardboard food containers were also opened and then folded flat to minimize space.  Plastic bags that Joerg drops at Cascade Steel (he says there is still a collection for that there.) were separated and stuck flat into a plastic sack that used to hold potting soil.  Snack bags were  recognized as a landfill item that never will decay. (Joerg has a teenage son whose food choices were attributed as the source of  containers that could not be recycled or composted.) Metal was separated into steel and aluminum using a magnet to be sure.  Smaller pieces of steel or aluminum were placed in the appropriate container and then the ends smashed flat to reduce space and to keep the smaller pieces inside.  Small pieces of metal coated plastic was torn apart and each piece placed where it belonged.  The sort took about 5 minutes, and only because we were asking questions.

trash sorting

The point to understand here is that many of us sort very poorly which means the recycling we send in, despite feeling very good that we have made an effort, is contaminated, and therefore will probably end up in the landfill. Rinsing cans and plastic containers at the sink takes maybe a minute as part of meal clean-up. How many of us take that time?

Joerg’s also obviously coming from an place where mingling just doesn’t make sense.  Since he lives outside of Newberg he actually does not have curbside pick-up but makes a run to the Recology depot there about every other week.

The large project we wanted to admire was his personal reconstruction of his chimney. Built originally around 2001, the visible portions of the fireplace hearth and chimney appear well built with attention to detail and careful use of material.  But a problem showed up and when he inspected the construction in areas that were not easily accessible, he ran into more questionable construction technique and knew he had a project.

chimneyMost of us would have to stop right there and search for a contractor, but Joerg Peter apprenticed in his native Germany as a mason. He had learned the skills long ago, and he chucked when he told us how finally muscle memory seemed to kick in with some of the tasks.

tiles and mortarLike chipping the mortar off the bricks he carefully removed to be able to re-use them.  Yes. Re-use the bricks. And the masonry and ceramic tiles. And the mortar. Yes, he saved the mortar……..not to use again for the chimney but in other ways on his land.

mortar dust on driveway.JPGThis is the perfect time to remind us all that using something again does not have to be in the same way it was first used. The larger chunks of mortar that end up as large gravel are useful in areas on the natural driveway to help in muddy spots. The mortar than ended up as dust on his basement floor was carried out in buckets and placed at the end of his driveway where it meets the pavement. It absorbs water and becomes stable, providing a smooth surface.

Back to the basement…..Joerg Peter carefully removed the tiles around the bricks in the chimney, lowering them in a basket to his teenage son to remove and stack. The orderliness in the basement was impressive. And the materials remain in usable form this way, not chipped with indiscriminate tossing into a pile, as my observation  of similar work areas has been.newspaper and more storage

Joerg Peter admitted he has been working on the new chimney for a few years and this winter their heating was dependent on the electric system in the house instead of the wood stove.  The last bill convinced him that he would get the job done before the next winter heating season begins.

The clear take-away from this visit was that all this sustainability is reachable. While I personally do not have construction skills so I would need to hire a contractor for a similar job, I could very easily require that contractor to aim for zero waste with the materials on site. Yes, the job will take more time. It is much faster to use a pry bar and sledge hammer…and there is some satisfaction in being allowed to destroy as  we have watched as homeowners gleefully take their turn on those home improvement shows.

It is time we all slow down and take the time to plan our garbage related tasks a bit differently……and our own zero waste effort can improve.

 

A Few Steps BEFORE Recycling

Recycling is a feel-good process. Our trash hauler Recology identifies itself as a recycling company, not a landfill company.  That means when China and other Southeast Asian countries stopped taking mixed recyclables from the United States,  we had to go through an adjustment.

Last summer there were more restrictions about what was allowed in our bin. But Recology has worked hard to find buyers for our recyclables and more items are allowed now.  And you can now bring your polystyrene foam to the Depot.  Check Recology’s What Bin? app on their website to see how you should sort that item. Call the office at (503) 472-3176 if the answer is not provided in the software.

That is all good news, but it’s important that you also understand that not all recycling gets used that way. While things might be better here because of Recology’s priority,  less than 9% of plastics are recycled  worldwide.

You’ve seen the photos of how trashed the ocean is. You’ve read by 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than ocean animals. You’ve read the news that there is plastic inside our bodies now from the food we eat and water we drink.  We have no idea how this is affecting us.

It’s going to take some effort to clean things up so our children and their children have a healthier environment.

That is why Zero Waste McMinnville also encourages you to start REFUSING to buy items if they use plastic in their packaging…plastic that immediately has to be trashed…if you have a zero-waste option. Using the bulk bins in the supermarket is an easy way to make that transition. Most of the grocery stores in town have bins; Winco has a very large selection that also includes pet food. But there is one more step to being a zero-waster when you move to bulk bins: you need to bring re-usable containers with you. 

The stores provide plastic bags and plastic containers. The bags will go to the landfill and we know the issues with wind blowing that lightweight an item off the landfill and into the Yamhill River and onto adjacent properties.  I use mesh bags that I found online, but more are becoming available in the stores themselves to encourage this behavior. They are tightly woven and can hold solids, but fine items like sugars might fall through some larger weave bags.  I can toss them in the wash to make sure they stay clean to hold food. 

tare
Source: Wild Minimalist

I use an offered  plastic container to fill with peanut butter, but I wash it and bring it back to the store for re-use.  At this time there is no tare station at the bulk bins but if you want to bring your own containers, and many people prefer glass to plastic, you can stop at a check out and ask them to tare your container. Make sure to have them write the tare weight on the container or its lid. That way, when you are ready to pay, you will only pay for the weight of the contents.

REDUCING is another step to use to minimize your trash. One of the biggest waste issues in our homes is food. People may not like eating left-overs, so they get pushed to the back of the frig and eventually become fuzzy. Not going to eat that!  

So, when buying fresh food like fruits and vegetables, milk and other refrigerated items, having an idea of what you will make with the items will help minimize having extra sitting around and spoiling in your house.  Use your freezer to package up produce in season when locally grown fruits and vegetables taste so fresh. The library has cookbooks and the Extension Service on Lafayette Avenue also has information that can help you prepare your food for the freezer so it will be delicious and safe to eat at a later time.  

Dehydrating and canning are other ways to preserve surplus food as well as prepared dishes when you have leftovers. These methods also end up with a shelf-safe product, which means it can be put in the pantry or cupboard and not take up freezer space.

Image result for re-use
Source: Tanana Valley Watershed Association

RE-USE is another step that eliminates trash. Sometimes we buy something and enjoy it but stop using it either because habits change or something breaks.  If you really are not going to use something again, pass it on. Decluttering is a very freeing feeling and no reason to keep things you won’t use.  I had a father-in-law who filled his barn over 60 years with broken things because “he might need them.” We had a lot of clean-up to do when he passed on.  But he grew up in the Depression and learned to be frugal.  We also can be more frugal but not to that point!  If the item needs something fixed in order to use it, be creative because many manufacturers want us to be attached at the wallet and plan the obsolescence of their product.  Sometimes they don’t even offer parts so you can repair things.   You might find some of these ideas useful!

LOGO jpegIf you want some amazing ideas of re-use and alternative use make sure to come to the McMinnville Recycled Arts Festival April 26th & 27th at the Linfield College Nicholson Library. It really is a misnomer to call it a “recycled” arts festival as the artists have amazing items that have used things that might be considered trash in alternative ways to produce things to enjoy.  Alternative use or upcycling are more common terms for these things. Come and see.

Only after you REFUSE, REDUCE,  and consider  RE-USE are you ready to sort your trash into recycling, composting or landfill. 

Refusing Means Developing Circular Systems

If you listen to a segment of our society you will hear there is a need for more drilling for gas and oil. We  people of the earth want our electricity which definitely helps improve the standard of living. And some people in positions of power seem to see little need to spend more attention on developing technologies with alternative energies that can provide what we need without similar environmental impacts.

We also apparently want a lot of water in plastic bottles and the like, and those are NOT a necessity. There are options for that most of the time where we live. With the exception of a degraded water supply, the stuff coming out of our taps is usually drinkable here in the United States.  Essentially, anyone living here should be able to use refillable bottles and never buy a plastic one-time-use water bottle except in an emergency.

So, we can REFUSE to buy those water bottles.  And the companies that sell them will begin to get the message when their sales drop. They will hear us louder if we actually communicate with them.

And then, still wanting to make money, they will try to develop solutions that will consider alternative packaging. That packaging may be something we can re-use, but if they can’t find that, they will develop a return-to-the-manufacture policy that will put the onus on them to find a solution.

With the expense of drilling, refining and then manufacturing, plastics are pretty expensive to produce. You would think that a way to capture more than the 6-10% that is supposedly recycled in the US would increase, just because of the cost of new production. The recycling costs, however, are also expensive and companies would have to spend to build new infrastructure to take care of the problem.

It is a problem they make. But it is a problem we also cause with our demand.

Up until China closed the door to our trash we were happy to send our garbage “away”. We felt good because we could send them so much of our recyclable materials that our rate of recycling rose and in communities like McMinnville, we saw good reduction of what went to the landfill.

So, we have been forced to re-examine just what kind of life style our garbage tells about us and look for solutions.  Finding the point where businesses can still sell products and make a profit, where we consumers can obtain items we enjoy, AND where the earth is not being mistreated is difficult, but it exists!

circular economy considerations
source: recycling today

Some corporations have been making changes over the past decade and some more are coming on with efforts to decrease the amount their products influence our flow of trash.

Unilever is a huge corporation that makes a lot of products and I think many of us have items in our homes, many in plastic containers.

global-brazil-recycling-plastics-040517_tcm244-504557_w940
source: Unilever

Beach clean-up projects have inventoried collected plastics and Unilever is joined by others in the predominant plastic trash found.  Over 10,000 volunteers across 42 countries took on the world’s most ambitious plastic cleanup and brand audit project yet. Nine months, six continents, 239 cleanup events, and more than 187,000 pieces of trash later, we now have the most comprehensive snapshot to date of how corporations are contributing to the global plastic pollution problem.

They are, in order from most to least commonly found in global brand audits:

  1. Coca-Cola
  2. PepsiCo
  3. Nestlé
  4. Danone
  5. Mondelez International
  6. Procter & Gamble
  7. Unilever
  8. Perfetti van Melle
  9. Mars Incorporated
  10. Colgate-Palmolive

    Image result for plastic in ocean corporate audit
    source: Greenpeace

How plastics end up in the ocean is a problem that is being worked on around the globe, but please realize that the amount equivalent to one garbage truck load each minute ends up in the ocean.

No longer wanting to be the originator for that mess, In January 2017, Unilever committed to ensuring that 100% of their plastic packaging will be designed to be fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Here are their considerations:

  1. Rethinking how we design our products: using our Design for Recyclability guidelines that we launched in 2014 and revised in 2017, we’re exploring areas such as modular packaging, design for disassembly and reassembly, wider use of refills, recycling and using post-consumer recycled materials in innovative ways.
  2. Driving systemic change in circular thinking at an industry level: such as through our work with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the Global Plastics Protocol.
  3. Working with governments to create an environment that enables the creation of a circular economy, including the necessary infrastructure to collect and recycle materials.
  4. Working with consumers in areas such as recycling – to ensure they’re clear on different disposal methods (eg recycling labels in the US) – and collection facilities (eg Waste Bank in Indonesia).
  5. Exploring radical and innovative approaches to circular economy thinking through new business models.

Read about their plans to redesign their product containers involves using more recycled materials and making sure all new packaging is recyclable or compostable.

It is important to encourage them and others to make these changes. Most are inspired by the way the world almost completely agreed in Davos about ways to improve environmental impacts that are our responsibility. But corporations will need help from governments. As a citizen I would prefer no new tax cuts to provide incentive, but perhaps a tax hike to cover other infrastructure solutions if the corporations do not instill them themselves.

Again, our best first step is to REFUSE but writing to offer support for a more sustainable package will help them move in the right direction.

 

 

 

 

Recycling Issues Lead to a New Step: REFUSING

When I volunteer at events like the UFO Festival or the downtown farmers’ market I try to chat with people who come over to what I call the “3-holer”, the sort station for recycling, composting and landfill. Some people avoid eye contact and toss whatever into wherever and scurry away……they do not want to really learn, so we use our little grabbers and move their trash into the correct bin.IMG_2155

But here in McMinnville, those kind of people are becoming fewer and fewer and everyone seems to be catching on. Sorting trash is really not rocket science….we each can learn it.  Persuasion techniques are needed for some more than for others, eh?

And some people are quite proud of how many years they have been recycling, even before it became so commonplace. Image result for proud recycler

But you know what? We do pretty well  here in Mac because our waste hauler, Recology, considers itself a recycling company, not a landfill company, so their business decisions are more sustainable. However, even at the rate we are successfully recycling at this time, all of us are  still losing ground over all.

While Recology has not measured what percentage of our total Image result for trucks dumping at landfilltrash is recyclable plastics,  a statewide study was done to estimate what our trash includes. In 2012 the trash we all handed over to all our waste haulers included this info: out of all the trash counted, almost 12% of it was plastic and only 3% of that was considered to be recyclable.  And most haulers are now carrying recyclables to their landfill.  Recology’s request for a rate hike late last year reflected their effort to store our recyclables until they can successfully identify end users.

So, while we all still need to sort our trash and continue to submit recyclables to Recology, we need to shift a bit.  I want to really start talking about REFUSING  as a way to live more sustainably.  Refusing is the act of saying NO to a product, even one you may be very much used to enjoying, because its packaging is wasteful.

As presented by the Earth Month Network suggests the 10-Rs of Sustainability include

REFUSE:  Reject the idea of utilizing anything that may cause harm to oneself, someone else or our delicate ecosystem.  Refuse to use food items and products that are falsely represented and not certified correctly. Refuse to do what is wrong.

One example that we’ve had to consider in our household relates to coconut oil. Over the past few years studies have shown that it is not the wonderfully “good for you” fat that we were told. Suggestions are being made to convert to palm oil. WHAT????? No way! The issue of where palm oil is in the healthy body scheme of things is not even up for discussion with me because I do know harvesting this product has caused deforestation of huge rain forest acreage and habitat of endangered species such as the orangutan, Borneo elephant and Sumatran tiger. For that reason alone I will chose as an informed consumer and responsible inhabitant of Planet Earth  to stop buying prepared cookies and crackers and other packaged foods that use palm oil. I have to be willing to take the time to read labels and then change my habits. (And if I want a cookie, bake it myself!)

Image result for rejection
source: The Business Journals

What about you? This is a bit harder (but higher in sustainable living) than what I am suggesting if you prefer to take smaller steps to changing old patterns.

Image result for store brand pasta  packaging
source: Dakota Growers

For an easier step that can add up to have a large impact, look at the packaging of what you buy.  If, for example, you purchase boxed pasta that is the lowest price, usually labeled as a store brand, you will be pleased to know you can save even more money if you bring a reusable bag (you have those already, right?) and buy from the bulk bins.  Now, some epicurean experts may have special preferences for a specific brand, but I easily imagine that most of our palates can’t really tell the difference between a premium Italian import and typical dried pasta offerings here. By purchasing from the bulk bin you are REFUSING the cardboard and plastic in the boxed version.  One step further would be to write to the food processor and tell them why you will no longer buy their brand.

 

If each of us begins to take a few minutes a year to communicate with the people who make the packaging choices, the message will be received loudly and clearly.  And they will make changes. And that will help us reduce, which is the end goal.

The Styrofoam Dilemma

Yeah McMinnville!!! We have worked out an arrangement with Recology to gather our Styrofoam pieces and bring them to Agilyx in Tigard for their processing. We are truly fortunate that not only do we have a polystyrene recycler within an hour of where we live, but our trash hauler WANTS to do the right thing and find recycling solutions wherever possible.  Image result for agilyx

So, a bit over a month ago on December 26 the collection process started at the Recology Recovery Zone at 2200 NE Orchard Avenue. Monday through Saturday from 8am – 5 pm there is a Recology worker available to collect your Styrofoam. Residents of McMinnville (city) can drop 1 cubic yard for free daily.  People living outside the city limits who are Recology customers can also drop off Styrofoam but there is a small charge. IMG_3595

The initial phase includes Styrofoam blocks and other larger pieces. In time, smaller pieces like Styrofoam clamshells will be included as well as other polystyrene that is commonly used, like the red Solo cups and other #6 plastics.  Also in time, once the whole process has worked out the inevitable kinks that any new project has, attention will turn to the large Styrofoam disposal locations. These are the large stores that sell appliances and furniture, all of which come in protectively packaged and wrapped.  The Information meeting Monday, February 4 5:30 at the Carnegie Room of the Mac Public Library will provide more information.

This is EXCELLENT!!!   So, why is this a dilemma?

Well, we know just about everyone is ecstatic about this new service and we are too. Do not misunderstand me, please!

The dilemma comes down to this: while Styrofoam is large and does not naturally break down and takes up a lot of space in landfills, it is not heavy, so the impact that removing it from the landfill is not as large as it feels.

We need to do more and guess what? We’re working on it.

A dedicated small group of volunteers, including the people at Cellar Ridge Construction have begun to develop solutions to the problems caused by construction and demolition debris.

Many have us have enjoyed watching those home improvement shows where demolition  typically involves a large sledgehammer and a dumpster.  No doubt about it, smashing down a wall can be cathartic to the psyche, but the debris ends up hogging a lot of space in the landfill and weighs a lot!

Cellar RidgeSo, Cellar Ridge, who has been using sustainable practices wherever possible,  will help us address the cost savings that a slower, methodical approach to removing usable components and permitting re-use can provide. Imagine not having to pay for so many truckloads going to the landfill. This is a win for the contractor!!

And there is another component to the dilemma: we need more people to help work this out. We are especially looking for those people with the experience of working with materials like this, but anyone who enjoys a good research project can help.

(By the way, we almost always need more people to help……..and event season is coming soon. You will hear about volunteer opportunities starting soon.)

McMinnville Recycled Arts Festival

We all enjoy a good fair, one with a lot of interesting and well made products for sale. Some may be art, some may be usable things to wear or use. I love going to those kinds of markets because the ideas are amazing, the artists work enviable, and there’s always a sense of fun and theater……it’s a place to have a good time.

Time to mark your calendar: Friday April 26 and Saturday April 27 will be the dates of the inaugural event. A star studded event with amazing things to brighten your life.

And all from trash.

I am fortunate that my life has artists in it. Creative people who have skills with paint or fabric or beads or you name it, skills that are beyond my ken but boy oh boy can I appreciate the time and effort. Now, you can too. Over forty artists and creative people will be inside the Linfield Nicholson Library from 10-4 both days.nicholson library

Fabric artists who use worn out discarded cloth. Metal artists who grab up the discarded bolts and screws and other small pieces of hardware. Jewelers who use a variety of materials including stones, shells, metal, cloth, and more to provide bling in our lives. You will find some people who work with wood-pieces found in the woods or on the scrap pile in a wood using industry.

Could you personally make some of these things? Possibly….but you know your ability and you know your life demands……will you? Probably not……so enjoy this event and take something special home!

I’m excited because I’m been on the planning committee for the past four months and I can see where all our effort is leading: to a new annual McMinnville event that will become a regional favorite.

We tried to tie the arts festival to Earth Day, but it falls on Easter Sunday this year and no matter how much you may or may not be a church goer, we postponed it one week so there are no conflicts for anyone. Earth Day really is not just one day of the year. The celebration reminds you to be a good steward all the time. Coming to the Recycled Arts Festival will be an excellent way to show your recognition of how to keep the earth healthy.

The committee made an early effort to review posts on Facebook, Etsy, Instagram and other social media platforms to identify artists and artisans who carefully use discards from other people to fashion their products.

Now it is time to invite them as well as an open call to others who missed. Please continue reading to understand the requirements and get those applications sent in!!

For the rest of you, see you on the 26th and 27th of April!!!

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We are happy you decided to apply to join our festival. This is the inaugural event and we have put a lot of effort into planning it as carefully as possible because we want to see this succeed and become as appreciated as other similar events in the region.  We ask that you read this thoroughly, ask us any questions, but above all, understand that the success of this event also depends on you. We need your cooperation, so read on and let us know if you are willing to fully participate.

 How to Qualify as a Vendor:

  1. While the name of the event is the Recycled Arts Festival, in reality the items that comprise at least 65% of your items must be used items or cast-off trash, typically on its eventual way to the landfill. We call what you do upcycling or repurposing. If your art uses natural items, without your use, those items would have naturally decayed. 
  2. All items must be handmade. There will be no MLM marketing nor resales of other makers’ work.
  3. You may share a table or booth space but each vendor must apply and be juried in. Both applications must have a note with the request to share and the name of the other vendor.
  4. Send at last 5 electronic photos that clearly show your work and its quality. Not only will these photos be used to jury you into the festival, but they will be used in festival marketing. You already agreed to permit use of these materials for marketing purposes when you submitted them with your jury application.
  5. Once you have been contacted that your work is acceptable to the jury, send your fee via Paypal to reserve a table. No table space is reserved without payment. If funds are not received by March 21, it will be assumed that you are no longer available to attend the event and another vendor will be offered your space.

 Prior to the Event:

  1. Both of our main sponsors, Zero Waste McMinnville and the Linfield College Sustainability Office, rely on education to teach people about the world of recycling and how upcycling, sustainable use and re-use relates to it. We need your help with educating the people who come to the festival. To this regard we ask that you:  
  2. Use only sustainable items to package your sales.
  3. Provide your story to the public – why do you use the materials you use? You can use a poster or brochure or be ready to talk a lot. Your application should have some indication of your philosophy which we will use in marketing materials for the event.
  4. You must must must help with marketing. We ask that you not only add to the Festival webpage and Facebook pages but also on your own Facebook page and website. We ask that you email out the poster we will share with you to your friends and family. We would like you to be personally responsible for at least 10 people through that door. And if anyone has a connection to a news outlet, let us know.
  1. Your ability to request a certain space will depend on the timeliness of your application. We are offering a 10% discount in the booth fee for the first ten vendors who complete their registration. We are closing the application process on March 1st with notification to all vendors about acceptance by March 15th
    1. If you apply after all spaces have been reserved, do you want to be put on a waiting list in case we get cancellations?
    2. We have 22 spots that are 10×10. Since the event is inside the library we ask you do not use a canopy unless it is mandatory for your display. We request the awning be removed or white in color to help keep the ambiance of open and airy in the space. SOME of these booth spaces will have electricity available. Let us know if it is needed.
    3. We have 12 spots that are 5×6 tables set up for studying. There are several lights in place on those tables that cannot be moved so you will need to position your things around them, but you also benefit with the added lighting. There are electrical outlets on these tables.
    4. We have 6 spots that are 5×8 tables set up for studying, Also, there are lights in place that cannot be moved, and electrical outlets available.
    5. There are 4 spaces that are on top of the newspaper racks. They are 48 inches high. These are 5×6 and have no power and no seating. You will need to bring a stool or stand.
  2. We know life happens and sometimes the best plans don’t work out. Cancellations before April 1st will be refunded minus the initial $10 jury fee. If you cancel after April 1st you will not get a refund (minus the initial $10 jury fee) unless we are able to fill your space with another vendor. Your refund will be made after the festival dates.
  3. Adult vendors are age 18 and up. We are offering a small amount of display space for youths under 18. In addition, we will make a few tables available on Saturday only as there are minors with growing art skills. It is also mandatory that all minors are accompanied by a parent and attend the entire time the festival is open. That includes set up prior to the 10am start and clean up after the 4pm public close.
  4. The jury fee is not refundable.

During the Event:

  1. Set up begins at 8am on Friday. All vendors must be ready when the public can enter at 10am. We are hoping to have some volunteers to help with your set-up if needed, but please have all the wheeled carts you typically use to haul your items from the parking lot, which is adjacent to the library. We will require you to move to the rear of the lot away from the front door after you off-load in order to allow easy access for the shoppers.
  2. Artist is responsible to supply all 10×10 booth equipment; displays, additional lighting, special tables, cloths, chairs, etc. Booths must be self-contained. We cannot use existing walls for display or support of exhibition. Artists who opt for table space should not bring any other table. Chairs are available.  No flashing flights are permitted.
  3. We urge everyone to be respectful of the library space and want to minimize our potential impact on the setting, including the floor, the furniture and of course the books. Please be very careful when eating in your booth space. Make sure all drinking containers have lids to minimize splash or spills.
  4. We will contact you a week before the festival to see if you want to pre-order lunch. Third Street Pizza will deliver food. We will limit the menu to one or two kinds of pizza and a salad. You may bring your own lunch if you want. There is some food close by off-campus but that will require you to lose at least 30 minutes.
  5. If you bring items to the event for sale that do not quality as at least 65% repurposed/upcycled/recycled you will be asked to remove those items from the sale.
  6. If you have any issues or concerns during the event come to the Festival Information Table which will be in the center of the room near the newspaper stacks.
  7. You can leave your display as is when the festival ends at 4pm Friday. The building will be closing and will not reopen until Saturday morning.
  8. Please be in place at your booth by 8:30 on Saturday. Remember to park your cars at the back of the parking lot.
  9. No packing up before Saturday 4pm. We must be out of the library by 5pm but there should be no problem with that. Again, we hope to have some volunteers to help you.
  10. After the festival we will email you the evaluation form. This will include areas where we need to improve for the next year, things we did right, and an indication of your income so next year we can inform potential vendors how we did this year. This will be unidentified and typically in a range (i.e. vendors earned between $250-$1200, with an average of $500.) People who do not submit a completed evaluation form will not be permitted in subsequent events.

To apply to the McMinnville Recycled Arts Festival, click on this link

Join us!!  qr code recycled_arts_festival