"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)

One year ago today, CCRx was deep into planning our 4th Swap Circle for Teachers scheduled to take place January 25-26, 2019.  This signature pop-up event was taking place on Chicago’s southwest side, in a warehouse space loaned to CCRx by our wonderful partner Envision Unlimited.  Today - that warehouse space is CCRx’s NEW PERMANENT HOME!!  So much growth in one year - we are bursting with pride and excitement.  Here’s a bit of a recap:

  • January 2019 Swap Circle – attendance was fantastic - donations from over 100 donors, including book sets from Scholastic, were arranged and over 390 teachers in 2 days were able to load up carts of all sorts of supplies and materials.  And creative reuse demos were offered by Envision Unlimited clients and The WasteShed.

  • Creative Reuse Workshops – a range of skill sharing held during the year at various locations throughout the city including Bookbinding, Beehive Making, Beekeeping, Hand Sewing and more!

CCRx also participated in the Chic...

January 6, 2020

CCRx welcomed 186 Chicago teachers and numerous other visitors to our new warehouse space on Saturday November 2 for an Open House.  

Teachers were happy to stock up on class sets of new Scholastic books, science kits, lots of curriculum materials, basics like pens, pencils, paper, office and other supplies, plus special finds like large picture frames, projectors, sewing machines, costumes, "multiples" and much more.  We distributed about 1/3 of our inventory, which means that the remaining 2/3rds are easier to find!

Please spread the word to colleagues -- we are open for all Chicago teachers and non-profits.

Hours of Operation are

Wednesdays 12 - 6pm

Fridays and Saturdays 11 - 3pm.

CCRx Warehouse at Envision Unlimited

2124 W. 82nd Place

Chicago IL  60620

Free Parking.

Volunteers get dibs!

January 6, 2020

You've read our emails seeking volunteers to help us set up our new warehouse space at the Envision Unlimited Frick Center.   Now see them in action!    We'd been "setting up Frick" for many weeks in preparation for our recent Open House.   Setting up a warehouse is a different animal than doing a Swap Circle pop-up event, we learned...  To start with, we needed heavy-duty display and storage furniture that can last...

Here are Carmen, Erik and her team from the Chicago Teachers Union Foundation.  They built all the library shelves we got from Maine South High School.   We also received shelves from Palmer Printing, ACE Restaurant Supply, Deutsch, Levy, Engel Chartered law offices, Oakton Community College, and Envision Unlimited.  And help from the Chicago Leather Archives, Volunteering Untapped, Chicago Green Theater Alliance, and several other groups. Thanks to you all for your generosity!

Being "creative," of...

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...

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2019 In Review

January 6, 2020

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