Creative Recycling: Vuvuzelas are not just noise makers

I absolutely loved reading about the vuvuzela recycling competition co-sponsored by two South African advertising firms. The WoZela! vuvuzela recycling competition is promoting the recycling of South Africa's favourite noise maker under the slogan "Make a difference, not just a noise. The FIFA world cup was touted as being one of the greenest world cups ever played but as with any other event, what happens after the event is as important as what happens during. Promoting post-event recycling is a fabulous green idea and promotes ethical consumption.

During the World Cup, these plastic horns were selling at rates of 20,000 a day. Now that it is over, it has become the medium for creative recycling and the ideas are pouring in. 200 entries have been submitted so far. A prize of 10,000 rand (£916; $1,460) will be distributed among the 10 best suggestions. "The vuvuzela has become an extraordinary symbol of unity in South Africa," the organizers write. "WoZela wants to make this object of unity an object of utility by generating ways to reuse it."

Creative recycling is an incredibly fascinating branch of upcycling where trash can even be used to create works of art. Many small jewellery businesses old clock parts, circuit boards to create wearable, unique pieces. It is the same with old clothes. Not only are new and up-coming designers turning towards 'trash' to use to create new pieces, many people are exploring their creativity and coming up with individual expressions of fashion.

Other than fashion, there are many ways in which trash can be turned into things of utility. Remarkable is a UK-based product design company that makes colorful and useful versions of traditional products made out of unusual recycled materials. They brand individual products with information about their origins. This makes for conversation pieces but also raises awareness about the origins and potential of composite recycled materials.

Recycled glass is being used for material for counter-tops. Fly ash are being converted to bricks. Denim is being used for building insulation. Bordbar is a company that recycled airline trolleys into highly stylish and functional bookshelves and mobile furniture. The possibilities for products made out of recycled material is endless.

By endorsing such products you are not only reducing the footprint of your new product but also encouraging creative recyclers - both excellent means towards sustainable living.

Photo: Submitted ideas for recycling vuvuzelas. Images via WoZela!.