Hauling recyclable cans, bottles and paper to the curb is a habit that is second nature to many people who worry about the environment.
But, how about getting creative and upcycling a few items?
Take a pair of jeans and repurpose them as aprons. Or take costume jewelry and fabric scraps, and use them to make bookmarks.
Upcycling is defined as the process of transforming a recyclable item in to a new product of better quality or better environmental value, according to Pasco Upcycle Festival organizers.
The festival aims to get people as interested in upcycling as they are in recycling.
“What can you do with these items before they ever get to the curb?” asked Kristen King, coordinator for Keep Pasco Beautiful.
The first-time festival will be on Nov. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Little Everglades Ranch, at 17951 Hamilton Road in Dade City. About 2,500 people are expected to attend.
There is no admission charge, but there will be a $5 parking fee collected by the venue to offset some of its costs.
As a first time event, there will be no fees collected from vendors. More environmentally friendly vendors are being sought, including those with fresh produce typically sold at farmers’ markets.
The festival will feature numerous upcycle vendors, including makers of pallet furniture and jewelry from recycled household items.
Vendors also will sell items such as homemade soaps and pepper jellies.
Many individual vendors who upcycle as a hobby will offer items including bracelets and pendants from utensils, or aprons made from jeans.
A hands-on demonstration will show children how to make bookmarks from recyclable items around the house.
Food trucks, including Hillbilly Farms and Philou’s Cajun on the Geaux, will be on site.
Bluegrass bands, the Michigan Misfits and Mean Mary, will provide entertainment.
“We are so excited to launch this new event,” King said, in a press release announcing the festival. “It gives us the opportunity to show individuals how they can not only reduce their waste, but also release their creative genius at the same time.”
Nov. 15 is National America Recycles Day, a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful. Everyone is encouraged to participate in “doing one thing” to recycle and reduce waste.
Event sponsors of Pasco Upcycle Festival are Keep Pasco Beautiful and Pasco County.
Organizers plan to make this festival an annual event.
Published November 4, 2015