As we all know, I’m all about recycling. I save most everything and re-make it into something else. While this has great ecological benefits, as well as financial, it can become an overwhelming thing.
For example, if I save every cereal box chipboard our large family produces, I’ll have a room full in very short order. Seriously. We probably go through 5 large boxes per week. Same with milk jugs. We use at least two gallons per day-that’s an awful lot of milk jugs in one week. What about cardboard and plastic? See where I’m going here? You can quickly recycle yourself into overwhelm.
It’s alright to actually let your stuff go off to the recycling center. You don’t have to save everything for your artwork. Yes, there are times I become to enthusiastic in my “save it to make into something else” passion. Because I see possibility in everything-there is always more that can be made.
I simply cannot keep up with the amount of recyclable items this large family generates. I must actually let some of it leave-off to the recycling center-as difficult as that is for me to do. So I offer this post as a cautionary tale: don’t keep everything.
For example, I am no longer saving every scrap of junk mail. If it is not of high quality-it’s out of here. By that I mean interesting brochures on thick chipboard or heavy, high quality paper. I only have a small stack of newspaper. I have one tote of gessoed cereal box chipboard for journals.
Also, I no longer keep an entire magazine. I go through, save images and words I want into labeled file folders, and get rid of the rest. Now, on the other hand-I have found removing book pages prior to needing them to be counter productive. They reside very nicely in the original book, where as removing them requires more bulky storage. And I ended up dumping those book pages I made using this technique. That’s because I bought the book for 10 cents for art journaling, didn’t read it (obviously) and there were swear words all over the pages. I mean, like every single page. I cannot trust I will cover them all with gesso or paint, as I cannot possibly read every page before I use it to make sure it’s family friendly. How can I sell art journals to the public with those words all over them? What if the journal’s a gift for a kid?
Better to toss the lot and start again with family-friendly book pages.
My point is, don’t feel guilty because you can’t use all your recycling in your art. You can send it off too. It’s alright. More will come into your house.