It is rightly said that, ‘one person’s trash is another person’s treasure’. There seems to be no end to what kind of art you can create with the most cost-effective medium available — trash.

We all know that you’re supposed to reduce, reuse and recycle. But artists practice the art of ‘upcycling’, or turning everyday trash into creative treasures. We can transform these into new creations, which are stylish and diverse.

These works incorporate reclaimed objects, such as old books, cardboard, toilet rolls, bottle caps, cans, plastic spoons, straws, plastic cups, tyres and a plethora of junk yard treasures.

Recycling old junk not only benefits the environment, it breathes new life into old objects that were once destined for the landfill. It removes these items from the recycling loop and turns an item headed for the trash into a useful object or an artistic decorative piece.

It was a treat to the eyes to see the variety of art work displayed from recyclable materials at the ‘Art from Waste’ exhibition conducted by the Emirates Environmental group on May 28 at the Knowledge Village in Dubai.

Such events give us an idea about the nature of waste in our society and also gets us to think about ordinary objects in a new and different way.

I combined my passion for the environment and art and created a few items, like a working model of a house with a solar panel connected to a fan made with CDs, flowers from plastic bottles and hand puppets from toilet rolls. I even had the innovative idea of growing plants in soda bottles and yogurt plastic cups.

It was an enriching experience and I have decided to devote some time during my summer vacations to learn new forms of recycled art. Let us all make a pledge to reduce consumption, practice conservation of resources and try to recycle on a daily basis.We need to appreciate and understand that we depend on Nature to provide us a secure and healthy living.

— The reader is a student based in Sharjah.

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