Recycling – Upcycling

An estimated 3.5 million tons of garbage are produced by the world's population every day - with the urban population producing about two to four times as much garbage as the rural population. Costa Rica and the beaches in particular are also affected by this global problem. A central aspect to get the problem under control for future generations is to raise awareness and avoid as much garbage as possible.

In order to make good use of the waste that has already been created, there are many ideas to use old materials in such a way that new products are created. If materials are processed in such a way that a comparable product of slightly lower quality is produced, this is referred to as recycling or downcycling - e.g. when recycled paper is made from paper.

If the processing results in a product of higher quality, then this is called upcycling. Here, there are no limits for imagination and creativity: Bags made of old sheets or T-shirts or chip bags or umbrellas, candleholders made of cans, belt made of bicycle tires, table decoration or planters made of bottles, sculptures made of flip flops, flower tubs made of tires, figurines made of yoghurt cups, detergent bottles, plastic utensils etc., (wall) Carpets made of old fishing nets and ropes, walls or benches made of "ecobricks" (plastic bottles stuffed with plastic bags) and and and ...

If you have ideas for waste processing, if you are skilled in (art) crafts and / or  if you have ideas for workshops on waste prevention, then we need you!

Your work

You can work in a variety of different areas - such as waste prevention or waste upcycling - and you can work with different groups - children, adolescents, adults - or maybe you have your own art project that you want to do and show. Therefore, the following list is only a suggestion of what you could (!) do!

  • Information on the extent of the garbage problem worldwide
  • Workshops on waste prevention and waste separation for different groups
  • Actions for collecting rubbish and cleaning the beaches
  • Sort, clean and prepare the collected material for further processing
  • Making 'new' products ... in the photo gallery you can find some suggestions and in www. there are endless ideas!
  • Conducting events to collect donations for the realization of further projects or for charitable purposes

Things to bring

  • Creativity, talent for improvisation, (manual) skill, crafting talent
  • Willingness to organize the materials, the hand tools, if necessary, the participant of lectures or handicraft workshops
  • Willingness to communicate, openness, ability to approach people
  • Enjoy working independently
  • Sense of responsibility if you are working with children (6-12 years)
  • Crafting Material (Of course, there is almost everything to buy in Costa Rica, but it usually requires a trip to the bigger cities (Nicoya or maybe even San José), if you need something special, it's easier to bring it.)
  • elementary Spanish language skills are particularly desirable in planning and activities with the villagers; Spanish courses can also be visited on site

Project Location

The locations will be the villages on the Pacific coast between Sámara and Nosara. There are also the school projects so that you can, if necessary, plan and carry out joint activities with the volunteers who work with the children in the schools.
Another possible location is Nicoya - there is the music school.

Artist: Heike Schader