Discussing reuse with Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader speaking at the 5th Annual MEDP Conference

Established in 2004, by our partner within the New York City Department of Sanitation, the Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse, and Recycling, and housed at the City College of New York’s Grove School of Engineering, the Materials Exchange Development Program promotes materials exchanges and reuse centers by offering a wide range of services and resources aimed at long-term sustainability.

On Thursday, May 17, the Astor House, home of the New York City Junior League and something out of Edith Wharton’s New York, hosted the Materials Exchange Development Program’s fifth annual conference – Exploring the Competitive Edge of Reuse.

Executive Director Harriet Taub attended and had this to say about the event:

Ralph Nader was the keynote speaker and for over an hour he spoke about the importance of keeping environmental issues on the table. He was adamant that individual citizens must band together behind critical causes. It is hard to imagine riding in a car without a seat belt and we have Ralph Nader’s National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act to thank for that. Ralph Nader’s career is a testament to the power of getting things done.

This brings us to the power of reuse and how it impacts what we do every day at Materials for the Arts. Whether it is making envelopes out of scrap computer paper – remember the green and white striped paper with the perforated holes on the sides? We’ve have boxes of that. Or turning CD cases into dioramas, we are constantly challenging ourselves to come up with ideas for great reuse projects.

If you have any photos or examples of work made with items you picked up from the warehouse, please send us a photo or slide show.

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