“One man’s trash is another’s treasure”. This saying might be old but still holds true. Zerolandfill program, a project of BeeDance LLC promotes the idea among interior design industry, architectural firms and all related industries to protect mother earth by reducing the amount of waste going into the landfills.
Atlanta with the support of IIDA, Georgia Chapter and sponsors like ADAC, WilsonArt, Daltile, DIRRT and many others is hosting its first Zerolandfill event. This initiative is of national scope and many other cities like Chicago, Cleveland, San Diego, Seattle, Austin and Tennessee have already held such events.
The local interior design industry and architectural firms donated their expired samples that were collected. Daltile (Atlanta) has graciously opened it’s warehouse doors to host this unique event. The idea was that the local schools, artists, educators and non-profits could come pick up these unwanted samples and find creative ways to make them useful again. The two-week initiative kicked off last weekend and will finish off next weekend.
As an IIDA Georgia student member, it was a privilege to serve as a volunteer the first day on August 17th. “IIDA GA was looking into a community outreach project to give back to the community and thought this to be a great program”, said Allison Barnes who serves as the Community Outreach Director for IIDA, Georgia Chapter. “A lot of planning was involved. We used our local industry partners, flyer distribution at art supply stores like Michaels and of course social media” to reach out to those who might be able to either contribute or make use of these discarded samples.
One IIDA volunteer at the registration desk who used to live in Chicago informed that this program was well known there and when she moved to Atlanta a few years back, it was surprising that it had not reached to this state. Therefore, she was thrilled to support it here.
Since, this is the first time to host Zerolandfill program in Atlanta, therefore the organizers did not know what to expect. But, artists, crafters and teachers from near and far came to pick up boxes and boxes of fabric, tile, laminate, wood and wallpaper samples.
One enthusiastic crafter and owner of HeddyMade, Heather Proctor Couch from Marietta who usually turns old vinyl records into beautiful pieces of jewelry was thrilled to get her hands on so many different types of textures available at the event as freebies. One could see her creative juices already flowing with new ideas to transform these unwanted items into necklaces, bracelets, stuffed toys and what not.
Wilson Art is a national supporter of this program and was represented at this event by David May. He shared that his company supports this initiative since it goes well with his company’s policy to support sustainability. On a question to make this into a year long effort, he responded that “it makes sense” but, this would need a lot of man power and resources to put it into affect.
Nonetheless, the event drew supporters like Sara Hand who is the Cultural Arts Director of Parks and Recreation Department for the city of Auburn. She drove all the way from Alabama to get materials for upcoming art projects at her city schools. An artist turned administrator, she was happy to have been able to get some much material for free that could be easily put to use by the children of her community.
The event also brought in Deborah Goodwin of “Hands up for Healthy Kids”, a program that arranges activities for community children in Fairburn, GA. Another attendee was Margie Conway, who has just started a shop “The Craft Fair” in Hoganville, GA with the idea of creative reuse of a variety of disposed items.
The volunteers included IIDA student members from Art Institute of Atlanta, Gwinnett Technical College and IIDA Georgia Allied members including John Gahl, who serves as the Vice President GRA for IIDA Georgia.
Bravo to IIDA (Georgia Chapter) and all event sponsors for bringing this awesome idea to Atlanta. Individuals, non-profits and businesses that came by to pick the materials also deserve a big thank you since without their support Zerolandfill Atlanta could not have been a success.
As a next step however, the sponsors and supports should look into finding a centralized storage space where designers, architectural firms and other related industries could collect these expired items year long with easy access to local artists, educators and non-profits who could turn them into useful, usable pieces so that lesser amount turns up into our landfills.
The organizers are looking for volunteers for coming Friday between 3:30-7p.m. anytime so anybody interested should contact email@example.com.
Anybody interested in dropping off discarded materials could do so at Dal-tile at 1441 Ellsworth Industrial Boulevard Northwest, Atlanta, GA 30318 on Friday August 23 while the pick up day is August 24.