It’s Election Day here in the US, and whether your candidates win or not, we’ll all be grateful that all of those campaign ads on television will disappear tomorrow. Unfortunately, other forms of political advertising don’t just go away: campaign signs, brochures, flyers, and other physical items often turn into litter and eyesores… or they end up going to the landfill. No doubt some of this gets recycled, but I’m not aware of any planned efforts by anyone – campaigns, political parties, or civic organizations – to recycle or repurpose this waste (this time – I did find one example from last year – see below). Might earn them a few votes…
In Brazil, similar forms of campaign waste exists after an election: sandwich board-style signs are quite popular, and they tend to get left in place after the election’s over. That ends creating not just litter, but even road hazards in some cases – not the effect you want from citizens expressing themselves! So Mobilize Brasil, an organization focused on sustainable urban mobility, has come up with a potential solution for all of those leftover campaign signs: furniture. The organization partnered with architect and designer Mauricio Arruda, and New York-based advertising firm J. Walter Thompson to create Projeto Mobiliário Político, or the Political Furniture Project. The idea: take the materials from those sandwich boards, and upcycle them into home furnishings:
Inspiring, huh? Now, Brazilians aren’t the only ones thinking creatively about the waste created from campaign season: I poked around a little and found a few projects focused on the standard US-style campaign sign made from corrugated plastic:
- Blogger Aunt Peaches posted instructions for turning these signs into bulletin boards and custom storage containers.
- Canadian political candidate Graeme Stewart-Robertson posted a template and video on his campaign site for turning his signs into bird houses.
Know of other innovative ways of using campaign signs and materials that keeps them out of the trash? Share your ideas, directions, pictures, and whatever else you have available…