October 2019 is Ireland’s national Reuse Month where we all find new ways to reuse, repurpose and reimagine everyday items and materials that would otherwise go to waste. We worked with the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to create a suite of social and digital graphics to promote Reuse Month, and it got us thinking about how we can reuse everyday in the office.
What is Reuse Month?
In its fourth year running, Reuse Month aims to encourage people to reuse everyday items as often as possible, and to consider alternative options to single use products. The message is, repair old items rather than replacing whenever possible, and try to upcycle and repurpose unwanted items regularly.
It’s all about valuing our stuff, by using and reusing it for as long and as often as possible. This avoids the need to extract raw materials, manufacture and distribute new items, and avoids waste thereby cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.
How to get involved
National Reuse Month’s aim is to inspire you and provide you with the skills and tools to reuse more at home, at work and at play. It’s also about helping us to recognise the ways we already reuse in our everyday lives, like when we get our favourite shoes resoled rather than replacing them, or borrow books from the library, or shop in vintage and charity shops. Once we recognise these opportunities to reuse in our lives, we can get involved in Reuse Month by pledging to go even further, prioritising repair, buying second hand, upcycling, borrowing, swapping and refilling.
How we are reusing at Piquant
Working on the Reuse Month campaign has inspired us to not only come up with new ways to reuse everyday, but also to take notice of the ways we already reuse so that we can take these small steps even further.
Furniture – A lot of the furniture in our office has been bought second hand, upcycled, or built from open source designs.
Clothes Swap – Vicky is a hero for bringing bags of gorgeous clothes to pass on to the other ladies in the office (thank you Vicky!). Swapping unwanted clothes with friends or bringing them to a charity shop is a great way of giving something a second life. Speaking of charity shops…
Donate to a Charity Shop – One thing we can all do this month is look at all the stuff we are thinking of dumping at home and vowing to do a charity shop run instead.
Coffee Cups – It’s a simple one, but with AT LEAST 20 cups of coffee (5 for Daniel alone) doing the rounds every day and about 15 cups of tea on top of that, having a supply of reusable coffee cups and mugs on hand means we save a lot of waste.
Cleaning Products – Where possible, we use refillable containers from the Urban Co-op, but this is definitely something we could work harder on for October.
Paper – We buy recycled paper and try to minimise the amount we print, but when we do print we reuse the paper for note taking, storyboarding etc.
Planting and Potting – Lyndsey has been growing a monster spider plant on the windowsill which has produced many baby plants, so she has been reusing plastic containers from lunch to repot the babies (seriously, if you want a baby spider plant, we have loads).
And our main project for Reuse Month… We have a lot of wood sitting in our studio from when we built a container illustrating the amount of coffee cups wasted in Ireland every hour for our coffee cups video. We didn’t want it to go to waste, so we’ve been keeping it around in the hope we’ll get to use it for something. We are going to take Reuse Month as an opportunity to turn that wood into something new and build ourselves some new desks and work spaces.
As part of the campaign, we developed a suite of downloadable assets, so that everyone can get involved in the campaign, show their support, host events and get inspiration.
Throughout October, everyone is invited to hold and attend community-based workshops and events, covering anything from managing food waste to upcycling fashion and furniture. Social media assets, twibbons, and toolkits, as well as editable presentations and posters are available to download on mywaste.ie
Check out our previous brand development work.