Episode (LXVII) – 67: The art of recycling and its enormous benefits

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Aruba for being a small island generates an enormous amount of waste. We must realize that this entire waste was once on a container as import. Recycling is an essential action to reduce waste that will be otherwise dumped in the environment. Within this action two approaches have emerged as possible solutions. The first is down cycling and the other upcycling.

In the former, the break down process is accelerated at a high cost and hardly sustainable if not all details are followed as planned and budged available applied as efficient necessary. The result must benefit nature and citizen as a result of the process, while in the latter all waste has a value that can be increased through creative intervention.

Transforming waste or recycle it into art is the creative expression of the human struggle toward civilization within a particular environment through the production of useful but aesthetic buildings and objects in the process of reducing waste.

Dumping must be seen and treated as a critical message regarding excessive consumption and environmental pollution. Transforming waste such as paper, cardboard, wood, glass, plastics, metals and rubber Etc. into works of art that carries a message will impact the connoisseur. The concept, therefore, goes beyond the conventional recycling of materials by creating objects that exceed the economic, cultural and social value of the original product.

Our island waste impasse deserves a creative solution and a pragmatic intervention. In our experiment with upcycling, we had considered to incorporate discarded material in our initial dwelling design. This led to the emergence of our native living lab and atelier at Westpunt Aruba, known as Etnia Nativa. A project that incorporates recollected materials during every phases of its construction process. The same was applied in the building of artifacts, furniture, illumination and artworks which are part of the thematic decoration, such as shells, stones, wood, bones, feathers and seeds etc. Upcycled art or upcycling art is currently inspiring many artists around the world and prevents tons of garbage to reach dumping grounds. Now for this to be contagious to the rest of the population we must create the fertile mindset in order to see a discarded object as prime material to be transformed in to cash, no matter the size or materials of which it is made of. An art work that is made out of trash, garbage or waste in many times could regain a value that surpasses the object`s initial price when it was on a shelf in a store. Etnia Nativa is very proud of its goal to prove and show that encouraging the right mindset and creativity could have an enormous its impact on our environment and ecosystem. Very fulfilling feeling is when for example an art work that has been made out of recycled material is acquired by a foreign visitor, since that the object is taken out of our tiny and vulnerable territory .

To get to know more about Aruba and its origins, its animals culture etc. we invite you to participate in our thematic presentations and cultural encounter sessions, which is a mind opening, educative and entertaining hour presented by our curator. Mail us at etnianativa03@gmail.com for more information.