D.I.Y. Dickinson, a phrase that plastered Dickinson campus from the bathroom stalls to the side of the HUB. D.I.Y. or Do It Yourself embraces a born again arts and crafts movement that challenges individuals to make practical items using their own hands. D.I.Y. projects were made popular through Pintrest, an upbeat website filled with clever crafts using household items. The Eco-Reps saw just how popular Pintrest has become and decided to combine quirky crafts with upcycling. Upcycling and crafts are worthy bedfellows as the materials traditionally seen as waste, with a little bit of effort, can be transformed into treasures. As it can be seen, waste minimization is valued here at Dickinson.
On November 18th the Eco-Reps teamed up with the Makery; an artistic space founded on providing students the materials to make, along with WDCV the voice of Dickinson College and took to Britton Plaza with the goal of showing the campus just how easy it is to make cool things from waste items. Activities included were warping old records into bowls, transforming broken mugs into planters, turning unwanted Tee-shirts into totebags, and a plethora of jewelry crafts using e-waste. The Eco-Reps and their co-sponsors over the course of the two-hour event saw a wide demographic of students , faculty, and staff engage in the activities and leave with smiling faces.
Later that night The Center for Sustainability Education hosted a Sustain IT Workshop in Landis House with Jasmin Parra ‘17, visiting as part of the Eco-League. Parra taught a group of seven how to crochet used plastic bags into bags. The group was comprised of students and staff who by the end of the night all left with a new skill and perspective on the value of items destined for the landfill.
The success of these two events only reflects the willingness of the Dickinson community to learn how to live sustainably. As a person who grew up turning old paper cups into cootie catchers, watching people who had never considered a broken mug a treasure have that epiphany made all the work leading up to the event worthwhile. The message of D.I.Y. Dickinson goes beyond making fun trinkets, and on November 18th students and faculty took time out of their day to embrace sustainable creativity.
If you enjoyed upcycling, check out the Makery a space that exists year round to foster sustainable art.