Monday, February 16, 2009

Trash to Trophy

Bleatings from EnviRambo.

It is the end of a crazy week of meetings; you have one more event on Monday; if you can just get through the weekend...

"Rebecca J Brown" (revealing my true identity), I answer in my usual office greeting.

"Hey, Rebecca J Brown. This is Matt XXXX from XXX Catering," says the voice on the other end of the line.

"Hey, Matt. What's up?" Thinking to myself that he is returning my call about the Organic Chicken-Q for Earth Week.

"Well, I have an event I was wondering if you could help me out with?" he asks nonchalantly.

"Sure. What do you need?" I ask, eager to book a future job.

"35 table centerpieces, no more than $5.00 each, Harmon Killebrew is the keynote speaker, February 15," he chirps.

"Got it." I automatically reply, scribbling down the details.

It was not until I hung up that reality set in. Looking over the little piece of paper full of scribbles: 35 centerpieces, good size job; $5.00 each, $5.00 each? What the hell can I make for under $5.00? You can't even buy flowers at Walmart for that price!; Harmon Killebrew, I wonder who that is?; February 15, looking at the calendar, counting the days. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. Oh shit. Nine days, no budget, no details, and no idea what the hell I got myself into.

What would you do?

Before breaking into hysterics, okay after breaking into hysterics, I took a deep breath and reassessed the situation. Nine days. Monday is completely booked with meetings and another event. Tuesday is also back to back meetings. The rest of the week is clear. Seven days. No time to order supplies. I will have to use what is available locally. After a weekend scouring the internet for ideas - I discovered Harmon Killebrew is a baseball Hall of Famer who played for the first Minnesota Twins team and the event was a sports award banquet, wandering the store aisles aimlessly for inspiration, and racking my brain in the shower I had an Eureka moment. What is cheap and abundantly available? PLASTIC.

I have a stockpile of plastic trash in my basement that I just cannot bring myself to dump in the landfill. Yes! It is perfect.

Behold the trophy cup.

A yogurt container hot glued onto a solo cup with model magic handles, all things I have laying around the house. Coated in a layer of gold spray paint, it transforms from trash to trophy.

Throw in a few flowers - the only thing I actually had to buy other than the paint - topped off with a custom pennant featuring the event logo and you have yourself a centerpiece.

35 table centerpieces, $5.00 each, Harmon Killebrew is the keynote speaker, February 15

Got it.


Heather @ SGF said...

Now, that is just way too creative! Awesome job!

Willo said...

That. Is. Brilliant.

De in D.C. said...

Wow, awesome idea!!! So did the client like it?

Electronic Goose said...

Whoa, awesome creativity and reuse at play!

Lisa Sharp said...

Wow that is awesome!!

Green Resolutions said...

How cool!

And it gives me inspiration to keep "hoarding" my trash. I keep thinking this "simplicity" thing should be easier, but I'll keep organizing my egg crates and what not until I need them!

We had a discussion a couple of weeks ago at Burbanmom's Going Green Yahoo! group about uses for what we normally think of as trash. Love sharing ideas like this. Thanks!

jennconspiracy said...


You rule, momma!

greeen sheeep said...

De in D.C. - Yes, the client liked them. He called me later that night to say, "You're awesome. The little custom flag, nice."

The best part is that I get all the containers back to use another day. I am glad they are staying out of the landfill and even happier that all my hoarding has been put to use.

Green Resolutions - I have been following the discussions at the Yahoo group, but too busy turning trash into trophies to participate. Hold on to those egg cartons! I have been saving mine to start seeds in this Spring for Melinda's Growing Challenge. The yogurt containers were originally earmarked for an early jump on the growing season as well. I'm grateful to be getting them back. The event completely depleted my supply.

EcoLabel Fundraising said...

Really? That was brilliant. That is true talent, and not to mention very eco-friendly. I hoard so much. I can't let things go to the landfill. I appreciate things like this to the nth degree.


Green Me Alison said...

Yikes. I think you one upped Danny Seo on this one. Perhaps even "three upped" him if that is possible!

Lynn from said...

No wonder he called you! And I bet you'll get even more biz now. That's pretty amazing! (And come to my house if you need more plastic junk that we can't bear to throw out...!)

Anonymous said...

Wow. I am astonished. Those turned out amazing. I have a hard time stepping back and seeing the shape of something, imagining what something could be. Your talent is great to be able to 'think outside the yogurt container'.

Jenni at My Web of Life said...

I am in awe! You really are a super hero!

Melinda said...

Brilliant! Love it.

I used to be a film set designer, and we made vases out of all sorts of things, but this takes the cake! (Or the trophy!) So cool.

JessTrev said...

Those totally rock. I love them! I used to dumpster dive a lot when I was a teacher -- and gold spray paint was, in fact, my weapon of choice!

Green Bean said...

I'm speechless! Amazing.

Natalie said...

So very, very awesome. Those centerpieces looked fabulous, FABULOUS!

Beany said...

That is brilliant! Now if I could only leech off some of those creative genes...

Robj98168 said...

LOL Who doesn't know Harmon Killebrew? He is a god in my family- I have a cousin in Minneapolis that would have given his eye teeth to be at that banquet... of course he may have. Naw I would've heard about before now. Anyway a great ReUse article. Hopefully the attndees took home the "vases" as a souvenoir?


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