We are united in our thoughts about the Earth, ecology, nature, and a sustainable future. We represent ONE tree with thousands of leaves. We share ONE goal, but know there are thousands of ways to reach it! This is why ENO does not only support tree planting. We also seek to raise awareness about sustainability through the creative arts.
Creative thinking is one of the strongest ways to create a better planet for everyone. We must be aware that in a society where people are not allowed to make mistakes, creativity often fades and dies. All of us who work with youth must treasure creativity, a precious but fragile gift inside every child. It is our duty to create an environment where each child’s creativity can flourish and grow, and where their curiosity will be both encouraged and nourished.
ENO supports children’s creativity and seeks to raise their awareness about sustainability.
We recently completed the ENO RECYCLED BEE ART CONTEST which supported the first World Bee Day. The contest and the exhibition were a huge success. We received 237 submissions from 35 countries! Nobody expected such a response, but it proves that both students and teachers need artistic challenges and platforms from which to demonstrate creative thinking. We found some astonishing solutions and creations and now we are looking for more! ENO has conceived two new artistic contests for the 2018/2019 school year. This year’s theme: upcycling.
WHAT IS UPCYCLING?
Recycling takes consumer materials — mostly plastic, paper, metal and glass—and breaks them down so their base materials can be remade into a new consumer product, often of lesser quality.
Upcycling doesn’t break down the materials, it reimagines them. You may refashion an item (like cutting a T-shirt into strips of yarn) but it is still made from the original material as when you started. You may add (up to 30%) new elements to this material. Typically, the upcycled item is better or the same quality as the original.
UPCYCLING IS GREEN. Plain and simple, upcycling makes a positive impact on the environment. When you upcycle, you remove items from the global garbage stream. Items destined for the dump are rescued and remade into something useful. Recycling requires energy or water to break down materials, but upcycling only requires your own CREATIVITY and it’s becoming more and more trendy.
Upcycling is not a new concept. Some of the best examples of modern-day upcycling come from the 1930s-40s when families had very little economic or material resources. They were forced to reuse almost everything, repurposing items over and over until they were used up: sacks became dresses or old doors became the new dining room table.
After decades of shortsighted and materialistic consuming and wasting, we are returning again to the concept of creative and intelligent REUSE, remaking that which is lying all around us.
When we upcycle, our main goal is to create something useful, practical, and beautiful. We use materials and objects we may not need any more and create new items. What’s old is new again, but with a twist! We are our own trend-setters.
In ENO’s previous Bee Art Contest we were impressed by how brilliantly students were choosing and reusing the materials. How many of us would have thought that an avocado peel could perfectly represent a bee? We learned that bee bodies could be made from everything – microphones, wires, screws or scissors, not just plastic bottles and cartons for eggs.
Students gave us a taste of true creative thinking and now, through the concept of upcycling, we are impatiently awaiting new and interesting results. And will announce them during World Summit of Students for Climate 29 May – 5 June 2019.
Darinka Orel, ENO SLOVENIA Mika Vanhanen, ENO