Media art of reuse

Published on April 6th, 2011 | by Jeff McIntire-Strasburg

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Green is Universal and Etsy Celebrate “Art of Reuse” with Contest

nbcu etsy art of reuse contest

While recycling still seems to be the concept that most of us associate with green (or, at least, it’s almost always the topic people bring up when I tell them what I do), reusing materials is generally the greener way to go. While the mainstream is still catching on to the notion that “reduce, reuse, recycle” is a hierarchy, the creative and crafty communities have latched on to the middle child of the classic green mantra with a vengeance. Even out here in flyover country, groups like St. Louis’ Upcycle Exchange have worked to connect crafters (both hobbyists and pros) with useful materials that many of us consider trash. And I only have to look at our traffic numbers to that reuse topics and projects are very popular…

So I was pleased to see that NBCUniversal’s Green is Universal campaign chose the concept of reuse for their Earth Month theme… and is going beyond just promoting the concept to hosting a crafty reuse competition with the eBay of the craft scene, Etsy. The “Art of Reuse” contest invites crafters, or just creative tinkerers, to submit their ideas for reuse projects. There are already quite few in the mix in five categories, and you’ve only got a little more time to submit: the deadline is Saturday, April 9th.

Not a crafty type? No problem… after submissions close, voting begins, and you can participate in choosing the ten finalists. The overall winners (who get some pretty sweet prizes) will be chosen by a panel of celebrity judges from across the spectrum of NBC media properties: folks such as Martha Stewart, Tori Spelling, Kathie Lee Gifford, and Andy Cohen. Even those who just vote get a shot at a $500 Etsy shopping spree.

Many more details at the contest site… don’t need to rehash them all here. Very glad to see a media company of this size and reach promoting reuse as a green concept… if you’re not a crafter or a kindergartner (the other portion of the population that seems to get turning one thing into something else), it’s good to have this reminder that may not be trash you’re throwing away… but resources that have been mined, extracted, or grown that may still have lots of life and use left in them.

Got an idea for a project? Already submitted? Let us know about it… as well as ways you put reuse into practice in your home and work lives.

Think reusable when buying new: check out our listings of reusable products, including water bottles, batteries, coffee filters, and shopping bags.

Image credit: Green is Universal



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About the Author

Jeff McIntire-Strasburg is the founder and editor of sustainablog. You can keep up with all of his writing at Facebook, and at



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