Trash Makeover Challenge

Trash Makeover Challenge

Texas Campaign for the Environment is throwing an exciting party to celebrate 22 years of protecting our air, water, land and health with a Trash Makeover Challenge on Saturday, October 19, 2013 at Ironwood Hall, 505 East 7th Street / Austin, TX 78701.

The Trash Makeover Challenge will include a runway fashion show, a fabulous silent auction and tasty delectables by Austin chefs. The Trash Makeover will be a Zero Waste event – at least 90% of discards will be reused, recycled or composted.

Fashion Challenge: The fabulous Tina Sparkles leads our Fashion Challenge that will feature clothing made from recycled materials.
Silent Auction: The silent auction will include items made from recycled materials and will include many of the designs created for the fashion challenge. Chef Challenge: Austin chefs will be challenged to show “what green really means in cuisine,” judged by a panel of food experts.

Tickets can be purchases on-line at https://www.steinhardt.us/texasenvironment/donate/donate_event.cfm

—-

Some words from Tina Sparkles about the inspiration for her Systems Supernova Computer Wire Dress (2011):

In the summer of 2010, as an experiment and art project of sorts, I made a dress out of old computer wires; it pretty much took the whole summer to complete the dress, which I named Systems Supernova. Part of the experiment included doing a bit of research about e-waste. The dress explores the concept of systems thinking as it relates to our ecosystem. Each computer wire is situated in a closed loop system that interacts with all the other systems within the dress. Movement within one system influences other parts of the whole.

Systems Supernova Dress by Tina Sparkles (photo by Andrew Sterling)

Systems Supernova Dress by Tina Sparkles (photo by Andrew Sterling)

 

It all started out when I got a knock on my door from someone at Texas Campaign for the Environment. They were going door to door with a petition to get a new standard in place requiring computer and other electronics manufacturers in Texas to take back their products for recycling. Thankfully, the measure passed and now companies like Dell must offer a free recycling program for their customers.

Since I recently upgraded from a Dell to a Macbook, I was really excited about this news, so I checked out Dell’s website for info on the recycling program. I was particularly interested in knowing what they do with the computers once they take them back for recycling – like how are they recycled and where, especially since I had heard about “fake” electronics recycling programs where companies say they recycle your old electronics, but in reality they just collect them and sell them as a commodity to developing countries.

This sounds like it might be fine and good to have people re-use our old and outdated products instead of sending them to a landfill, but actually, many of the products are obsolete and unusable, so what actually happens is that workers in places like China and Nigeria are stripping the electronics of their precious metals and other valuable resources by hand in their homes without any safety precautions.

The problem with this whole scenario is that the electronics contain lots of toxic elements like lead, cadmium, mercury, chromium, polyvinyl chlorides and flame retardants. What’s worse is that to extract the metals, the parts are openly burned, thereby releasing into the air one of the most dangerous toxins of all, dioxin. Studies have been conducted on the children, water, soil and air in the towns that do this type of work and the news is not good – our electronics are poisoning people and the environment! Ugh. So, I did some more research to find out what is being done about this problem and what we can do to make sure this doesn’t continue.

I want to thank Texas Campaign for the Environment for inspiring me to take on Electronic Waste and inspiring my Systems Supernova Dress! I am so glad to be a part of the Trash Makeover Challenge on Saturday, September 24th at 7 PM @ Highland Mall, where a former clothing store will be transformed into a fashion runway and recycling will be the theme of the night.

You can learn so much more about e-waste and landfill initiatives and accomplishments by Texas Campaign for the Environment at http://www.texasenvironment.org/

Comments Are Closed!!!