"Trash is just a failure of imagination"

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CPS Vendor #19517

EIN #47-4679301

© 2017 Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange

News (Our Blog)

June 18, 2019

Schools across Chicagoland are gathering their surplus supplies and equipment for Chicago teachers as part of CCRx's first end-of-school year donation drive, School's Out Green Out! 

Our SOGO! Pioneers were Saint Andrew School and Washington Elementary in Chicago, Hubbard Woods School in Winnetka, and Whittier Elementary in Oak Park.  They brought carloads of books, posters, teacher resources, art and office supplies!    We are excited to fill in our new warehouse space at the Envision Unlimited Frick Center with these treasures that Chicago teachers will be able to use in their classrooms.   And to keep all this out of the landfill, where it often ends up.

It is not too late to join in.   SOGO! starts in June and runs all summer long.   Get your school involved -- Learn more at www.creativechirx.org/green-out

June 18, 2019

Who doesn't love a blank book -- it holds so much potential.   For diagrams or a diary, for poems and sketches, recipes and todo lists, mementos and manifestos! 

Imagine a blank book that is handmade, from all sorts of paper and bound in interesting ways with twigs, cord or snaps?  Even better.

Regin Igloria knows that making books is a hands-on way to help connect a community or family.   That's why he started North Branch Projects many years ago to encourage "community binding."  CCRx was pleased to invite him to share his skill at creative reuse binding at workshops in LIttle Village Branch Library and the Blackstone Library in Hyde Park.  

Books are small, intimate and tactile. Regin encourages people to use the things that are already in their house when making these books because it helps to reduce trash and also makes them more unique and personal. 

Regin is an multidisciplinary studio artist who can ma...

April 1, 2019

Days are longer, sun is out, seeds are sprouting... Spring cleaning time!

Don't just toss stuff out, though.   Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

City of Chicago Blue Cart recycling will take your 

> Cardboard    > Paper    > Metal Cans + Foil    > Glass Bottles + Jars   

> Plastic Containers    > Milk/Juice Cartons.   

But - no plastic bags, no food waste, no e-waste.

Learn more at www.recyclebycity.com/chicago

Recycle your plastic bags + wraps at at Target, Jewel-Osco, Lowe's and Mariano's

Any kind of plastic 

> grocery bag   > produce bag   > bread bags   > bubble-wrap

> plastic bottles + caps 

> plastic wrap    > ziploc bags 

> dry-cleaning bags  

> newspaper bags  > ice bags   > salt bags   > cereal bags   

> plastic overwrap from cases.

No Styrofoam (polystyrene) or Saran Wrap (cling wrap).

"Remember that harder plasti...

March 4, 2019

Bees are nature's best "creative re-users" -- they take pollen and nectar and make honey, wax, propolis and more.  We humans can learn a lot from them, which is is why CCRx invited Art Helbig -- a long-time Chicago Public School art teacher and 5 year beekeeper, to share the ins and outs of beekeeping for teachers who are interested in starting their own hives at their schools.

The world’s bee and pollinator populations are rapidly decreasing and several species of bees have been added to the endangered species list. Keeping and maintaining bee hives at your school or in your backyard is one way that we can help improve gardens, food supply and our communities. Bees also provide us with products -- honey and wax that can be utilized in a multitude of ways.

Several Chicago Public School teachers, a librarian and a CPS administrator attended this first session -- all fascinated by bees.   Art explained how bees and beekeeping can inform many aspects of education from scien...

February 4, 2019

CCRx's 4th Swap Circle for Teachers was a great success -- demonstrating yet again the abundance we have and how we can fulfill the needs of our teachers and their students.    300 Chicago teachers braved snow and cold after school on Friday and all day on Saturday, January 25-26 to find a fantastic array of supplies, equipment and materials for their classrooms... 

 About 100 individuals and companies made donations for this Swap.  Highlights included Blitsy and A.C. Moore's donation of hundreds of rolls of decorative Washi Tape.  Scholastic and CPS donated hundreds of brand new books.  Artists and Craftsman Supply and Dick Blick donated brand new art supplies.  The Furniture Shop donated yards and yards of fabric.  The Chicago Community Trust donated hundreds of books of beautiful photos of Chicago.  The Poetry Foundation gave artist-designed posters.  The Joffrey Ballet donated leotards and costumes.  Glenwood South High School donated an ensemble's wort...

January 31, 2019

How can you build community through making books? CCRx launches its 2019 Creative Reuse Workshop Series with two special Community Bookbinding classes with Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist and educator Regin Igloria. Community binding and creative reuse are primary motivations for Igloria, and his workshops show how to reuse common items to create your own book -- for your personal writing and drawings, as a gift or keepsake.

Igloria is the founder of North Branch Projects, a non-profit that brings people together through the process of handmade bookmaking and binding. Regin Igloria has been “promoting creativity through the book arts” through North Branch since 2010. His goal is to tear down the divide between artists and non-artists, so that communities can feel comfortable coming together both in crafting and social interaction.

Workshop participants will learn how to create a book from scratch --  from folding paper, creating signatures, and making covers to the proper use of a...

January 3, 2019

While we're making resolutions for the new year, how about supporting Chicago teachers, students AND the environment?  CCRx's next  Swap Circle for Teachers is a great way to do all three -- starting this month!  Here's how you can help...

The Swap Circle for Teachers is a pop-up opportunity for businesses and individuals across Chicago to support Chicago teachers and their students by donating surplus supplies and equipment for use in their classrooms.   At our Swap this past August, over 500 teachers received 10 TONS of surplus from 140 donors!  Highlights included costumes from the Joffrey Ballet, a drum kit, sewing machines and hundreds of binders.  Read about our Fall Swap here.   

This January Swap will feature 13 skids of brand new Scholastic books (PreK-Young Adult), 6 skids of decorative Little B Washi tape, several projectors and giant tv's, a lot of upholstery and other fabric, giant bags of strange adhesive spongy things and... who knows wha...

November 30, 2018

Longtime environmental and arts programming specialist Bonnie Tawse teaches us her tricks for making eco-friendly wrapping paper out of everyday household items.

September 8, 2018

CCRx's Fall 2018 Swap Circle for Teachers was a great success!

Over 500 Chicago teachers received more than 10 tons of supplies, materials and equipment donated by 140 Chicago businesses and individuals, valued at $150,000.  The Swap was held at Rockwell on the River, a beautiful event space donated to CCRx for the 2 weeks it took to build, host and dismantle this pop-up event.

80+ volunteers were needed to make it happen, and they pitched in on everything from designing signs to directing traffic, weighing donations, greeting teachers and sweeping up.   They were (are) amazing!!!

 Highlights?   Well....

Kendra Johnson won the drum set for Sullivan High School!

Erin Franziger won the Casio keyboard for Telpochcalli Elementary School!

Muhammed University got 20+ painting easels, someone got 150+ orchestra gowns, someone else got a whole bunch of graduation gowns, and Roseanne Tellez from CBS News did a great story on us!

Many teachers got classroom sets of The Great Garden Dete...

July 28, 2018

All summer, CCRx is partnering with artist Monika Neuland and Envision Unlimited to host experiential dyeing workshops on the shore of Lake Michigan at beaches in South Shore and Uptown neighborhoods of Chicago.  

In the surf and sand, participants decorate and dye cotton textiles, such as pillowcases that might otherwise be disposed of.  They create brushes from found materials such as twigs and feathers, and work with dyes that are a combination of natural pigments and some synthetic dying agents.  Neuland guides participants at all skill levels in a process that is immersive and based in sustainability.  

“This workshop is about giving yourself permission to make a mess and experience an ecstatic outburst,” said Neuland.   The workshops are very casual, simple, and accessible, even if you are not typically a crafter or artist.  Neuland has been conducting this workshop for the last five years, working with artists from Envi...

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Community Bookbinding Workshop with Regin Igloria

June 18, 2019

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