Tinker with Trashure – A Mandy Barker Inspired Workshop

Therese Heng · 113 ·

Today’s Tinker with Trashure workshop was alot of colorful fun (and actual confetti!!) But behind all the visual noise is alot of thoughtful and introspective thinking on the part of the participants.

What we did differently
Because we didn’t have much opportunity to organise a team activity to go down to the beach to pick up trash and waste together, we decided that since a huge amount of waste starts from the home anyway, we would leave the children to slowly observe their day to day usage of things that they use at home and to mindfully clean and put aside domestic waste

Mindfulness behind what was collected
Surprisingly alot of children really took the effort to collect bags full of trash and we notice a similar pattern of everyday items that each participant and their families use. We asked everyone to shout out something that they brought and to really think about how these items can have a second shelf life. Even one of the moms was shocked that we recycled bread bags and detergent bags, thinking that they were contaminated and should be thrown away. This was a great way to start the conversation about the everyday things that are around us and the mindfulness behind what we use, what we throw away and what can be recycled

Not just plastic waste, but food waste
We went through bread tags with two sisters and one of them pointed out that they have so many of it because they keep buying bread and often times they cant finish the bread and it starts getting mouldy so they just end up throwing it all away. We laid out the bread tags and sorted them out by date, easing into the conversation of what they can do better in terms of making sure they only eat what they need and not to overbuy. Food waste is fast rising as a huge problem in Singapore too and I think we can have a separate conversation about that in another workshop soon. This workshop is a really good segue into different types of waste that we produce, which will only serve to highlight each country’s different culture and waste patterns

Bringing the context of the workshop back to Singapore’s blue bins and something they can relate to
A very strong intent of the workshop was to make sure the participants were able to relate to the topic so the iconic blue bin in every housing estate was highlighted
Thankfully almost everyone knew what could be thrown into the bin and the big no nos of what not to put inside
I gave the example of how 9/10 people can be conscientious and properly dispose of their waste and all it takes is one person to throw something like an ice cream wrapper in and how that makes all the difference in the world. Participants were shocked at that something as simple and thoughtless as a wrapper can ruin the entire recycling process due to contamination

Common theme when creating the artwork
When everyone set off to do their collages, we saw similar themes of showcasing the magnitude of trash and how they as individuals can do better as a whole. Many were introspective of what they set out to do, choosing to use the items they brought to represent the large quantities of trash and how one can be more thoughtful so the world can be a better place to live in

We ended off the session by getting members to pledge something they intend to do in their own way to make their difference in the world
#tinkerwithtrashure #vivistoporchard #VIVITA