One Green Thing: New uses for everyday things

By Jan Herbert
Rockford Park District

Whether you were “green” before the color was fashionable or whether you’re just ready to find the “shade” that works best for you, here’s information about doing just “one green thing.”

My friend the artist doesn’t think of it much as “recycling” as she does “things that can be re-used for an art project.” I have enjoyed watching as she has used bowling balls as decoration along her sidewalk, created skeleton mobiles from aluminum beverage cans, and now it is Barbie dolls that will make their appearance at an upcoming show.

So, maybe we should have a competition for the best use of CD/DVDs? Once again, technology has changed, and many of us find we have dozens (or hundreds) of these! When one area graphic artist was leaving them behind as media, he created a wall sculpture of the United States! Here are some more ideas:

Use them in the garden to scare away critters. (Hmmm … wonder if they would help scare away the Starlings that hang around downtown?) Anyway, just dangle them around the garden edges … it’s the swinging and “catching the light” that is likely to scare them.

Need something under that one leg to “level” something; a no-longer-needed CD just might do the trick. Cut disks into various sized squares and rectangular pieces (you don’t even have to be very precise), and use to glitz up a picture frame, an old flower pot (who would even notice that struggling plant you have), or make yourself a new pencil holder from an ugly coffee cup. And remember, many of them have “colors,” so you aren’t limited to just shiny silver in your “artistic” designs. You may want to take a look at these “over-the-top” artist’s creations …

If you come up with better ideas … let me know!

For more information, e-mail Jan Herbert at

From the July 18-24, 2012, issue

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