September 28, 2016

Students “Upcycle” to Stay Green

BILLY SUKOSKI / The Journal Webster University Recycling Program Liaison Caitlin Zera (middle) promotes repurposing recyclables and limiting wasteful spending.

BILLY SUKOSKI / The Journal
Webster University Recycling Program Liaison Caitlin Zera (middle) promotes repurposing recyclables and limiting wasteful spending.

On Tuesday, Nov. 12, students gathered in the University Center (UC) to make “upcycled” crafts. Webster University’s recycling program partnered with Perennial, a nonprofit recycling store and workshop in St. Louis. Webster Recycling Program Liaison Caitlin Zera said the event was intended to teach students about waste reduction through “upcycling.” Upcycling is the process of repurposing an object, rather than breaking it down for reuse, said Perennial Founder and Executive Director Jenny Murphy.

“Our organization is dedicated to creative reuse, so we teach people how to make new stuff out of old junk,” Murphy said.

Participating students made scarves and bracelets out of T-shirts, coozies out of old leather and matchbook notebooks from scrap paper. The event was held to celebrate America Recycles Day, which is on Friday, Nov. 15.

“(In) the recycling program here at Webster, we try to promote people just not wasting as much. We love recycling since it’s what we do, but we try to make sure that people know if you don’t have to buy it, you shouldn’t buy it, so it’s not wasteful,” Zera said.

BILLY SUKOSKI / The Journal Hailey Kaufman and Maggie Hake participate in the Recycle Craft Fair in the University Center Commons.

BILLY SUKOSKI / The Journal
Hailey Kaufman and Maggie Hake participate in the Recycle Craft Fair in the University Center Commons.

Webster’s recycling program will host events all week, including a raffle for recycling “swag.” Anyone who follows the Twitter page, @weburecycling, will be entered.

Perennial hosts classes and events throughout the year to promote people “getting creative” about recycling, Murphy said. Perennial’s retail shop is open every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and it holds a community workshop every Sunday.

Webster will hold its last recycling events on Wednesday, Nov. 13 with a “Freecycle” event held in the UC from 1-3 p.m. Students are asked to bring unwanted, yet usable items to swap with other students, according to the university’s blog, Webster Today. The website post also adds that all leftover items will be donated to Goodwill.

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