Creativity, unique mindset, and willingness to innovate something new from the same old stuff; my approach to the 3R rule!

There are always an extent of things we could come up with to recycle the waste materials.  It’s not necessary that we need to buy items from the stationery store to create something creative or innovative. We can ignite innovative things through our open mindset and willingness to break all those usual patterns. It even enables us to come up with extraordinary ideas. We could reuse those plastic bottles, straws, buckets, old clothes, bottle cans and many more which are dumped or burnt.

I have quite an unusual type of habit. I love to collect the waste which seems quite striking to me and I try to make something out of it. Apart from my studies, I was always keen on these crafts and I spent most of my time on YouTube watching similar kinds of videos. Every time I can find something which is accessible in the home, I eagerly want to give it a try. On one hand, it boosts my creativity and gives me some sort of satisfaction and on the other hand, it helps to minimize pollution and maintain delightful scenery around me. Therefore, after completion of my +2 and CEE examinations, I utilized my free time to explore my interest by involving myself in these types of work which I love doing.

So,  here are some of my works with a step wise process I followed,

Straw Art

Straw art is something that came up from Chinese culture.  Almost all of us belong to an agricultural-based family so the straws which we throw up as wastage can be put together into something elegant and valuable. It is prepared especially from the straws of wheat, oats, rice and barley.

  • Initially, it is dried off and the cylindrical portions and outermost coats are removed. 
  • Accordingly, the straw is cut off from one side to make it a plane pattern. To give it a fine glance, we can either press it with a knife or we could even iron it. 
  • Furthermore, we need to sketch something on the drawing paper.
  • It’s best if we use blotting paper for the drawing because it’s visible from both sides but I have tried it on the thin drawing sheet too. The result was not so different, so we can try it on a drawing sheet too. 
  • Then, we need to glue one side and paste the straw over it. 
  • After we paste it, we can cut it in the shape we have drawn before. 

Old Clothes and Cement Vase

It is a very simple technique to make a vase from old clothes. It’s something new but it is flourishing very rapidly these days. We can make it at a minimum cost. The only thing we need to buy is cement.

  • First of all, we need to make a liquor paste of cement and water. The consistency must be a bit thick. It must not be runny.
  •  Once we make the paste we can soak the cut pieces of clothes into the liquor. From my experience, it’s always better to use something thick which could easily absorb the moisture to prevent cracking. 
  • Once it is done we need something like a bucket to give the proper shape to the vase. 
  • Then, we need to wrap it with some plastic to make sure that the vase doesn’t get seized with the bucket.
  • Furthermore, we need to dry it in the sun for about three days. If the liquor paste is too thin then we can again brush it with cement liquor after keeping it in the sun for the whole day.

It not only saves money but it looks relatively better than the vase that we buy in the market. We could color it once it gets dried.

Plastic bottle and white cement vase

It is quite relative to the technique mentioned earlier.

  • For this, we need to cut our waste plastic bottles. We can cut it down into desired shapes.
  •  Then, we either could apply a paste of white cement directly and let it dry for some time, or we can initially put the pieces of old clothes along with the paste of cement and let it dry. For the second technique, we again need to coat it with a thicker paste of cement. It minimizes the possibility of breaking down.
  •  Once it is dry, to make it smooth we could use scrapping papers which are used in our home while painting.
  •  Once it is smoothed, we can decorate it as per our will.

Recycling old sacs and Kausi farming

Kausi farming is very effective for places like Kathmandu where there is very little space for gardening and for cultivating. We can consume the fresh vegetables from our own homes with minimum investment from this method. In the context of our village, the majority of people cultivate the vegetables on their terrace in the thrown away sacs.

  • The sacs are first tied up with some rubber to give them a round shape at the base. The round shape not only gives a fine look moreover enables it to remove the excess water during heavy rain.
  •  For this technique, it is always better to mix the sand and manures of animals or plants for proper growth. This not only saves our money but also sustains the natural scenery around our household.

Quilling Art

Quilling art is simply a technique to make decorative items.

  •  At first, we either buy the stripe or cut the strips with a paper cutter.
  •  Next, we can roll them with the help of a quilling needle. We can use the quilling plate to give it a fine pattern.
  • Next, it is glued and designed into configurative items. We can make different decorating items like portraits, frames, models, flowers, room decorations, key-rings and so on. 

Quilling is supposed to be initiated in Egypt. It’s much more basic than other arts. It is very easy to learn and one can earn a huge sum of money through the same art too. 

Our creativity is hidden within us. It’s just the thing that we need to foster ourselves more. The recycling of the stuff as a part of craft work could also help to emphasize the 3R’s rule Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. These things seem to be very basic and minor but these small initiations could bring a big change to a sustainable life. 

Rachita Shrestha (8th Cohort)