Don't throw it out! The Brotherhood will show you how to turn trash into treasure

19 February 2013

The Brotherhood of St Laurence will show Melbournians how to transform household trash into treasure at the Recycling is Fun Day at the Melbourne Town Hall, on Friday 22 February, during the Sustainable Living Festival.

Not-for-profit organisation 'Recycling is Fun' will give free demonstrations from 10am to 4pm, showing how easy and fun it is to recycle unwanted items and waste into beautiful hand-crafted toys, jewellery and accessories. DIY kits to recreate the handicrafts at home will be on sale.

The Brotherhood's vintage clothing business, Hunter Gatherer, will be selling its pre-loved clothing and accessories, proving that second-hand is not second best. Every item at Hunter Gatherer is handpicked from the hundreds of thousands of goods donated to the Brotherhood each year.

According to Natalie Baxter from the Brotherhood's retail division, the charity is thrilled to be part of the Sustainable Living Festival as the organisation encourages reusing and recycling. It has 21 Community Stores or "op shops" across Melbourne and Geelong that sell quality second-hand goods.

"Purchasing second-hand and recycling household rubbish is a gift to the environment, as it prevents these items ending up in landfill. If everyone tried as hard as they could to take these simple measures, the world would be better off.

"Recycling is Fun has spent the past 40 years promoting the message that recycling and craft are good for both the environment and people's wellbeing. It believes that participating in craft activities improves people's quality of life, particularly the elderly, people with disabilities and dementia who can experience isolation and depression.

The Brotherhood's Coolibah Centre for older disadvantaged people is one of the organisations Recycling is Fun works with. Manager Marica Cindric says the members enjoy the social aspect of doing the craft activities in groups and they are amazed at how waste can be recycled into useful items.

"Creating something gives you a real sense of achievement. Even if the person is only capable of cutting the shapes or gluing, they still benefit from being part of the process," she says.

Central to the Recycling is Fun project are the DIY kits, which include patterns and instructions to create recycled handicrafts in the home. There are kits for all ages and abilities, from children in after school care to people with disabilities.

This free event is in partnership with the City of Melbourne, with all proceeds from sales on the day going to Brotherhood of St Laurence programs and services that help people build better lives.

WHAT: Recycling is Fun Day – handcraft demonstrations, displays, and DIY kits for sale
WHEN: Friday February 22, 10am-4pm
WHERE: Swanston Room, Melbourne Town Hall