The heaps of trash that’s long been resting in the corners of her home awakened her creativity - the ingenuity of a woman, and the quick-witted nature of a mom.
Tired of seeing all the trash, Ms. Dianne Asanza, a mother and a home maker thought of reviving the value of unused materials perceived by her household as trash.
“I got worried seeing all the plastics. Where shall these materials go? How will these be disposed by the garbage collectors?” Ms. Dianne anxiously asked herself. “I want to make sure that my trash does not contribute to the garbage that destructs the environment. The only way I can do this, is turn it into something useful instead of just entrusting it to the collectors,” she adds.
3Rs – Reduce, Reuse, Recyle. This principle has been promoted to generations for years, and the idea has been embraced by many into their lifestyles. For instance, reducing gas consumption by walking rather than getting a ride in going to nearby destinations, using old papers as scratch or reusing to-be-discarded items for a purpose, and turning used materials into new materials such as shredding old papers to make new paper materials.
Ms. Dianne is a fan of the 3Rs, but she is not limiting her creativity to the usual. Earning a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, her passion for art is innate, and beyond this, her personal advocacy towards environmental protection and conservation through proper solid waste management.
She shares, “I started organizing my personal things and ended up scrutinizing the scrap pile because I wanted stuffs which shall become my organizers. I started working on a plastic pipe which seems so useless. I turned it into my hair dryer and brush stand with a little touch of art.” She saw it was nice and useful, and started creating other stuff from scratch.
“At first, it was garbage - cans, bottles, used ribbons, cloth, paper, boxes - anything that we have used and wished to throw away. I felt there was a conscious need to show concern for the environment, so I thought of saving these items instead of throwing them,” she adds.
With her imaginative mind and creative hands, she enthusiastically ventured into upcycling, an activity which became a byword in the family. They got so involved in this type of recycling where waste is converted into new products and materials that are better than the original or have better environmental value.
The interest of turning wastes into better and useful crafts cascaded into each and every member of the family. Realizing that waste reduction is indeed possible, each one shared his own way of being involved in upcycling.
Ms. Dianne shares, “my mom got a boring, 70’s looking, unserviceable lamp shade from a garage sale, and gave it to me. It was unusable, so I decided to strip off the thick cloth and made a few alterations. I punched out some areas using a stencil and covered it with blue organza and placed some tassels and some glitter to make it very different from its original look. I then salvaged a lamp base which was on its way to disposal and did a little work on it as well. Now it’s a star among my decors, fascinating my guests.”
Her passion for upcycling became ardent, that even small things such as bra wires are turned into fashionable bracelets.
“My garbage is much less than the usual. My mind is constantly working and looking for ways to transform garbage into useful bits and pieces and it just works like magic,” Ms. Dianne said as she shares her advocacy to minimize waste.
She said her artworks are given as gifts or tokens for friends during special events citing that these are even more special, because she puts herself into every piece she creates including that special bonding moment with her family while creating her crafts. Since she started in 2015, she has created loads of fancy stuffs from trash. With all her creations, she intends to put up a store where her artworks may be sold. “Less garbage, productive free time, more profit,” Dianne stressed.
This activity tickled the interest of her friends, turning Ms. Dianne into an effective influencer. She inspires others to do the same thing with their garbage by posting her upcycling activities in social media.
“This is my own little way of influencing others to reduce the litters that adversely affect our environment. Unused things need not add up to the burden of Mother Earth. It is important that we create an opportunity to value products that would just end up in the dumpsites. Let’s re-use, reduce, recycle, and upcycle,” Ms. Dianne stressed.