From rubbish to runway: Green Team is making trash fashionable

EdCC community members were tasked with creating fashion out of trash these past few weeks for the Green Team’s Trashion Show.

The Trashion Show, held Feb. 12, kicked-off RecycleMania, an eight-week competition between colleges and universities across the United States and Canada. The Green Team will also be holding other small events, such as Trash Sorting, to emphasize that the RecycleMania competition to emphasize its theme of reducing waste on campus.

Participation was open to anyone in the EdCC community, and could be done alone or in groups of up to six. Five groups and one individual competed. The entries included a mermaid made of plastic, a newspaper suit and gown, as well as a shirt crocheted out of plastic grocery bags. However, the rocketry club took first place, blowing their competition out of the water with their suit of armor made from soda cans.

“If we all as individuals come together, we can do small things which will create a big impact,” said Tyma Bou, event coordinator of the Green Team, whose mission is to engage and empower students, faculty and staff to adopt healthy, sustainable practices and lifestyle while also raising awareness about the numerous environmental issues out there.

Like all events coordinated by the Green Team, the Trashion Show will also serve as an educational experience.

“People throw trash away without thinking what they can do before disposing of it,” said Bou. The Trashion Show’s theme is ‘Rethink Waste,’ and its goal is to get community members to think about all of the items they throw away that they otherwise wouldn’t have thought twice about. Creating a sustainable community goes beyond the three R’s people were taught in school: reduce, reuse and recycle.

“Recycling should be the last option that you want to do,” said Shane Crawford, Student Engagement Specialist. “There are many more things going on that aren’t visible after you throw away trash in the recycle bin.”

That plastic bottle you threw in the recycling isn’t going to be resold as a water bottle next week. If it actually ends up being recycled- which it might not, there’s about a 50/50 chance that it’ll be thrown out anyways- it has to be melted down again, releasing toxic fumes into the air. Additionally, this can only be done so many times before it can no longer be made into something that has value.

Waste is still waste, no matter if it is eventually recycled or composted. Creating an item in the first place takes time and energy, and often results in pollution our air, water, or our own neighborhoods. If we can reduce and reuse our waste before recycling it, why not? Even if it’s as simple as paper, reuse it. Recycling should be a last resort.

The Trashion Show isn’t meant to be taken too literally. Most people don’t have the patience to make an outfit out of trash, or the confidence to rock said outfit. However, it’ll allow students and staff alike to see their everyday trash as objects that are here to stay, rather than being out of sight and out of mind once they’ve been tossed.

The Graphics and Marketing Team sets aside time each week to work on their entry to the Trashion Show. Paola Garcia, the lead designer for the Graphics and Marketing Team looks forward to the prizes, which have remained a secret thus far, saying “I hope [they] will be pretty creative.” She also sees the project as a way for her team of five to have fun and get to know one another more, as some members are new.

The prizes were indeed creative. First, second and third place received bundles of prizes, which included, but was not limited to, travel utensils, water bottles, and notebooks made from compostable materials and recycled stones.