Latest Stories

‘Trashy’ decor and gift ideas


Arts and crafts teachers looking for new, unique and interesting but inexpensive projects for their students to do, especially decor and gifts for Christmas and New Year, should take a look at the suggestions offered by the book “3Rs of Fun in Waste.” The crafts are also environment-friendly as they use items that would have otherwise gone to dumpsites.

A project of the Ilocos Sur-based nongovernment organization (NGO) Bituen Arts, Culture Events and Communications Organization, in collaboration with the National Solid Waste Management Commission, an agency of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the book is a collection of about 100 ideas on how to turn trash into something pretty, useful and/or wearable. The book is just one of several initiatives of Bituen, Ilokano for star, that aim “to use in full all available resources from arts, events, culture and communications to help improve the lives” of Filipinos it touches, especially the marginalized.

Bituen, consisting of volunteers from different sectors, has partnered with private individuals, businesses and government organizations for such projects as Reading Caravan and Reading Festival. It opened recently ToyKalapawMi (Our Small Hut), a library, museum and shop  meant to be the hub for its various activities and also to help raise money for the NGO. Among other things, it will sell Bituen handicraft and also serve, through the Gr3encycle section, as a drop-off point for things people no longer need that would have otherwise been thrown away. People who may have use for the items can exchange them for something else.

The group also conducts free talent and skills training, in collaboration with other groups, even in Metro Manila, according to coordinator Melanie Cortel.

“3Rs of Fun in Waste” is part of Bituen’s campaign to promote sustainable practices, particularly the 3Rs—reuse, reduce, recycle.

Author Margaret Tadeja-Cruz, a journalism graduate of the University of Santo Tomas, indefatigably searches the Internet for products that can be made from solid waste to reduce the  garbage that piles up in municipal dumpsites all over the country. Tadeja-Cruz, who maintains a blog (http://gypsy-artscrafts.blogspot.com/), prefers to call the process “upcycling” instead of reusing or recycling because the waste materials are used “in their present state.”

WREATH from glossy magazines

The crafts she has chosen for the book use waste paper to make wreaths for holidays and special events, vintage memo notes, desk calendar, mobile frames and filing boxes, among others. Empty boxes or cartons are made into gift boxes and CD organizers while glossy magazines and calendars become notebook or book covers, magazine baskets, even beads to make bracelets.

Old skirts and denim jeans become totes, hats, coasters, topiary, clutch bags and phone cases. Keys that are no longer used are turned into pendants or chimes while plastic soda bottles are transformed into unusual bangles that will certainly be conversation pieces. Even used phone cards are rescued from the garbage heap as they are turned into colorful dangling earrings or bracelets.

To find out more about Bituen Arts, Culture Events and Communications Organization Inc., visit www.bituen.org. The book “3Rs of Fun in Waste” is available at  http://www.amazon.com/kindle/dp/B008EOTJHY/ref=rdr_kindle_ext_eos_detail or at https://www.etsy.com/listing/102972425/3rs-of-fun-in-waste-hard-copy-recycling.

Bituen’s Makati office can be reached through Tel. No. 9941372.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: art , Bituen Arts , Craft , Culture Events and Communications Organization , Education , Learing , National Solid Waste Management Commission , NGO , nongovernment organization , Paskong pinoy , “3Rs of Fun in Waste”

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct


  • 12 dead, 96 injured in Holy Week accidents–NDRRMC
  • Filipino devotees re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • Rouhani talks peace, outreach at army parade
  • Rains, thunderstorms on Good Friday
  • Carbon monoxide leak suffocates 20 in Catbalogan City
  • Sports

  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Marketplace