Reducing, reusing and creating

Spring cleaning time is here and this year, instead of throwing out the old to make room for the new, why not try re-purposing it instead? With landfills piling up, it makes sense to try to keep some of your stuff out of the dump when you can.

During a recent Westville Library information session Marla Cameron, educator for Pictou County Solid Waste, was there to show how to make wreaths for all occasions using re-purposed fabric from old or discarded clothing.

The base of the wreath is made from an old wire coat hanger that is bent into a circle, the hook from the hanger can be cut off and bent into a circle or left on to hang up the wreath. Once shaped into a circle, strips of the re-purposed fabric, cut to a couple of inches long, are then tied on to the wreath in a simple knot and the step is repeated until the coat hanger is full of colourful strips of fabric. Ribbons can be added for decoration as well.

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That is simply all there is to making the re-purposed fabric wreath.

As well as the fabric wreath craft, Marla Cameron shared a few facts about how long things can take to break down in a landfill if not composted or recycled. Some of them include:

  • Plastic bag — 500 to 1,000 years
  • Glass — 1 million years to never
  • Dirty disposalee diapers — 250 to 500 years
  • Styrofoam — 500 years to never
  • Aluminium — 200 to 250 years
  • Cotton T-shirt or clothing — 30 to 40 years

Marla Cameron, educator for Pictou County Solid Waste, demonstrates how to make a re-purposed fabric wreath during a session at the Westville Library. A video showing how to make the wreath will be available on The Advocate’s website. (Brimicombe photo)

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Heather Brimicombe
Heather Brimicombe is a Pictou County native and graduate from the University of King's College in Halifax with a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree as well as a combined major in Sustainability. She has previously won a Canadian Communities Newspapers award for a multimedia feature and was part of a team nominated for a Canadian Association of Journalism data award in the investigative category. Photography, art, sports and outdoor activities are all hobbies of hers as well as crafting, and baking.