Students at the University are encouraged to reduce, reuse, recycle and upcycle. In March, UF’s Wilderness Club collaborated with Findlay’s Habitat ReStore to introduce upcycling through a competition among student organizations.
Upcycling involves turning spare construction parts or used items into something creative and useful. Nine student organizations competed to create the best upcycled object.
“At ReStore, they take donated items, turn them into something new and sell them,” said Natalie Brock, sophomore pre-vet and biology major. “The advisor of Wilderness Club, Dr. [Bethany] Dean, coordinates with ReStore in Findlay for her students to do volunteer work and had the idea to have an event for student organizations to do the same thing.”
Each club received a used medicine cabinet and two weeks to create something new. Participants created a number of things, including spice racks, nightstands and mail holders.
While on display, students voted for the best project and the top three organizations won prize money. The Pre-Med Club hosted an ice cream social, and the Wilderness Club held an activity for students to make key chains or jewelry from washers, paper and hemp cords.
“This event brings different student organizations together for a common purpose,” said Brock. ”We also raised over $200 for Habitat for Humanity of Hancock County.”
Habitat for Humanity Campus Chapter, Pre-Med Club and Block and Bridle won for creating the best upcycled objects. The clubs could use any available resources. Habitat for Humanity transformed a medicine cabinet by using primer, chalkboard paint, corkboard and clothes hangers.
“Our hope with the medicine cabinet was to turn it into a multi-purpose front entrance cabinet,” said Kara Trusty, junior hospitality management and business management major. “We essentially turned the cabinet into a message board so that anyone entering or leaving the house could jot down or read a quick note.”
After the event, the objects were donated to the ReStore to be sold, and all profits were donated to Habitat for Humanity of Hancock County.
Written by Sarah Foltz