I’m in a creative writing class and we’re working on vignette, a short impressionistic scene that focuses on one moment or gives particular insight into a character, an idea, or a setting and sometimes an object short enough to fit vine leaf. Pretty tall order since the only time my brain really actually functions and then my head gets filled with ideas and things that I just need to say. Anyways, I wrote about my first dumpster diving experience and I wrote in the point of view of a spoon that I had rescued. I turned it, nervous as all get out that the teacher would be closed minded and hate the idea. I think I was majorly dehydrated all week long. Anyways, turns out she totally loved it, for reasons that weren’t exactly my intention. She things it’s funny. There are some things she wanted to me change like the length, duh, and she wanted me to take the happy ending and make it where the spoon stays in the trash and it would be like inspiring people to want to save the spoon. What kind of story is that? What’s the point of saving the spoon if they don’t know what to do with it? I don’t know. I told her that the point was to make people see what they could do instead of throwing things away, blah, blah, blah. She said, okay do what you want that’s just what I think. Just now I got an e-mail from her and she said she kept laughing about all day and she kept thinking of alternate endings like being eaten away by chemicals or developing some kind of addiction to chemicals. I kind of see where she was going with it, but I still want people to see what they can do besides throwing things away. I’m trying to decide whether I should be offended about laughing or not. lol, oh well.
So anyways, I’m going to post it on here, you can tell me what you think or not, but I thought I should post it on here before I change anything.
A Repurposed Life
Hello, my name is Dixie and I’m a white plastic spoon. Once I lived with a family of four, but then I outlived my usefulness for them, so they threw me away. I was separated from my brothers and sisters, but I was rescued from a dumpster by a young girl. She promised to give me a new life with a new purpose. I’ve seen her do it for others, so if I wait, I know someday it will be my turn. I know this is all a little confusing, so I’ll start at the beginning.
About two months ago, I was waiting in a bag on the shelves of a giant store with my hundred siblings. There were thousands of families like ours and we were waiting to be adopted out. A nice young family with a mom and dad, a baby girl and school-aged son came and looked at all of us.
“Hey! Hey! Pick me, pick me,” all of us would cry as people came down our aisle.
My family and I had been waiting for months, but now finally our time was here.
“It’s us. They picked us. We can finally be loved and fulfill our purpose! We can live happily ever after,” we cried in excitement.
Little did we know that our dreams would become our nightmare. We went home with the family and one by one my siblings were picked out, used, but they never came back.
At this time Kayla was in an environmental science class learning about the harmful effects that trash has on the environments.
She asked her mom one day, “Why don’t we recycle?”
“Because it takes up too much space and when we’ve tried it before, it drew bugs,” replied her mom.
“Could we try again? Even if we only do it the winter when there are less bugs, it will be better than nothing,” Kayla replied.
Persuasion was necessary, but finally her mother agreed. For Kayla, recycling wasn’t enough. She knew she could do better, so she researched ways she could help more and that’s when she learned about upcycling or giving everyday products a new life and purpose. A purse made out of candy wrappers is a great example. Wrappers folded a certain way fold wrapper so they connect together. Then they make a chain. After being sewn together, the wrappers take the shape of a purse.
She started collecting things from her family’s trash, but there wasn’t very much variety, so she researched for other ideas. That’s when she heard about dumpster diving. It was around Christmas when she was researching this idea. Kayla’s great aunt, Chelle, was sitting beside her and kept asking her what she was doing.
“I’m trying to learn how to dumpster dive. I don’t have the project materials to make the different kinds of projects that I want. This may be the solution, but I’m trying to find out when to go, where to go, rules and whatnots,” Kayla replied slightly embarrassed.
“Really? That sounds fun. College dorms are perfect for that. And it’s right around the end the semester, so people are moving out and throwing the things they can’t bring with them,” said Chelle.
The next day Kayla’s mom, dad, great aunt and Kayla went to the dorm dumpsters and did some digging.
She found tons of cans which she recycled, a printer/copier/scanner, some galvanized metal pipes, wood, table legs, a comforter and pillow that she washed and gave to the homeless shelter. The pillowcase had $207 in it. Since she and her mom didn’t feel comfortable in keeping it, they split it up and gave it to five people they knew who could use it. They found some other things too, but those were the most unique.
Upcycling has become Kayla’s passion which she tries to share with others through her blog as she writes about her experiences with dumpster diving and posts tutorials for the projects that she’s made.
Whenever she is asked about why she dumpster dives, Kayla says, “People always say that I’m giving them a repurposed life, but I say that the things I’ve collected have given me a life.”