Message from Ann: February/March 2017

Dear Friends,

We are working hard at The Scrap Exchange to get through some tough times now as we work to create a better future for our organization and for our surrounding community. A measure of our success will be how sustainable and strong we can make our local community and the larger world we live in over the months and years ahead. Part of this equation is action, advocacy, and moving the conversation forward.

Let’s start with action — from healthier environments to lower carbon footprints. Here are some things you can do right now!

Do you want a healthier environment?

Check out our Third Friday opening for this month’s show in the Cameron Gallery, SPECIMEN: A Collection of Plant Artistry with artist/botanist Aisha Sanders. This Friday 2/17 from 6 to 9 p.m. — come meet the artist and see the show.

In addition to displaying her art, Aisha will be teaching a series of classes on plants and how to make displays and arrangements for your home. Her Living Art Series will give you the skills you need to incorporate living things such as succulents, herbs, and air plants into your art and home décor. You’ll learn how to care for the plants as well as how to combine reused and repurposed materials with them to create functional and beautiful living art.

The first class is sold out but the later ones still have space available. You can visit the Classes page of our website to see what is available.

Do you want to generate less waste and lower your carbon footprint? One easy way is to buy used clothing from a thrift store or trade unwanted items with friends instead of buying new.

We now have clothing and shoes in the “Polar Bear Cove” of our retail store, and this week is the 2017 edition of our much-loved community clothing swap, the Swap-O-Rama Rama.

This Saturday 2/18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will be the 12th edition of the Swap. (Note that this is the correct time! We had it listed inconsistently on our website, but this is it.) Support creativity over consumerism and turn someone else’s unwanted items into your new favorite outfit by swapping, altering, and embellishing to your heart’s content.

Clean out your closet, bring a bag of unwanted but still usable clothing and $10 (suggested donation), and take as many items as you like from what others brought in. While you’re swapping, you can learn how to design and create new outfits and make old things new again.

Now that you have a healthier home and a new low-waste (and low-cost!) wardrobe, you can look outside.

Do you want to learn how to advocate for policy changes in your local community?

Consider participating in Durham Neighborhood College. This program gives you an inside look at Durham County and City government and teaches you the ins and outs of various departments. Once you understand how local government works, consider joining one of the Durham government advisory boards. This gives you a chance to spend regular time in City Hall and to advise the city council members and county commissioners on a subject of interest to you.

I’m a strong believer in local action. I’m a Neighborhood College graduate and I spent four years on the Durham Environmental Affairs Board. I’ve also participated on the national board of the Reuse Alliance, and The Scrap Exchange has had representation on the statewide Environmental Stewardship Initiative board. We have also been long-time supporters of change agents like Don’t Waste Durham and other organizations and individuals working to make on-the-ground change.

Participating in activities like these can help you understand why things are the way they are in your community and what you can do to make it different. This is one way to not just make your voice heard, but to actually make change.

Just sayin! These are some good ways to make a difference in your world, to get involved in how decisions are made and to help set the direction for your community.

Thank you, as always, for your love and support. We are truly grateful every day that we are here.


Ann May Woodward
Executive Director
The Scrap Exchange

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