Monday, February 4, 2008

making something out of nothing

you know it might be my all time most fulfilling feeling to make something useful and/or beautiful out of garbage. i have a frightening (truly frightening, anyone who's helped me move can attest) collection of scrap fabric, a scavenged wood pile that threatens to crush me on a daily basis, stacks of junky roadside furniture that i just know are hiding a gem underneath a thin layer of ugly, a closet/dresser/under-the-bed container full of clothes from only the finest dumpsters/hand-me-downs/dollar-a-pound piles.

it's true i'm a hoarder, but a hoarder that believes hugely in the power of reuse, in the second, third, fifteenth life of objects, in the beauty of age and history and process and reclaimation. yes, i might be a hippie. yes, i might have ocd, big time. yes, i might be willing to talk on a public forum about how i get my mattresses from complete strangers on craigslist and i don't feel funny about it at all. but how else could i be when i've got to, need to, would simply shrivel up and die if i didn't make stuff, and this world is already near bursting with stuff.

san francisco is working towards being a zero waste city by 2020. i might stick around for no other reason then to see this happen. maybe then i'll move to austin, which has recently hired a california firm to creat a zero waste plan with a goal of 2040. we'll see. this idea of zero waste is so monumental even i can barely wrap my head around it. i am so inspired by ideas that are so massive, but so community based these days. people that are re-thinking everything, not just the way we dispose of stuff, but what products are available and the way they're made, and how each person doing a small act can amount to something huge.


my past week was a whopper of goodness and inspiration. on tuesday i had the pleasure of meeting up with joe gebbia, one of the founders of ecolect, an online sustainable materials community, which was only recently launched but is already taking the design community by storm. we talked shop (for those of you who don't know, i'm a materials librarian. i know, a what?) about our libraries, about what we're working on, what we're having problems with, etc. joe is one of those people that is so honestly thrilled and amazed by what they're working on that it makes you want to do better.


then friday the rains parted and i got my new-to-me bed for $50 and it's awesome and my back is already feeling better. saturday the grey skies returned but i hauled my old bed out to the damp, drippy east bay anyway and we set it up in esti's new minimalist bed room. like i said folks, win win.


before the bed delivery on saturday i went to compost workshop at Garden for the Environment, which was also really inspirational. we have a slow poke compost bin so my housemate jill and i went to get some pointers, and learn more about worm bins which neither of us have ever had. we learned some great tips (to turn their compost they just take it all out and put it all back in, which totally solves my problem of not being able to get my shovel into the bin far enough to flip it all over) and got a red wiggler tutorial, and i've already lined up a free worm bin from a delightful woman on freecycle.

(i forgot my camera on saturday so these photos are stolen from the SF Gro website)


ah. this upcoming week has it's work cut out to live up to last week. fortunately i'm still riding the positive energy train, so maybe it'll just self-perpetuate. i got my fingers crossed.