Earth Day: Re-homing Samples

At Studio G we look for ways of integrating sustainability into the daily office culture. We try to be mindful of where our waste goes and how it is disposed. A common problem faced by many design firms is ‘what do we do with old samples?’

Over the past year, certain tasks have been pushed aside to deal with the slightly larger issues and one of these tasks was cleaning out our materials library. Finally, we did some early spring cleaning, purging old material samples from our library.  I was surprised by the large pile of samples that needed to go!

A very reduced materials pile nearing the end of the week.

This was slightly more complicated due to COVID, with many places that usually accepted recycled samples taking appropriate safety cautions with limited intake ability. I needed to get a little more creative. While a small number of samples could be recycled or returned to the manufacturer, many could not. After some investigation, I decided the easiest option was to advertise the materials for pickup online, like Facebook Marketplace.

Taking appropriate safety precautions, samples were organized by individual parties and taken outside, the pickup process started. Over the course of week almost all materials were “rehomed”.

The result was rewarding. Not only was the amount of waste greatly reduced, but many samples ended up being reused in different, creative ways! Materials were used on models by local architectural students, home DIY projects, and supplies for hobbies and art projects. I may have taken some home myself!

Earrings & card made from paint samples. (Marisa Breece-Sullivan)

Reused cork samples. (Michelle Davidson-Schapiro)

Feeling inspired? We encourage you to check out some of the resources listed below for future or current use!

Resources & Suggestions:

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