Resourceful Santa Fe founder, Sarah Pierpont, knows the recycling and solid waste industry intimately, with over 15 years’ experience working to bring access to recycling to communities throughout New Mexico, keeping discards out of landfills, leading recycling trainings and conferences and coordinating the country's oldest and largest recycled material art market (www.recyclesantafe.org).
Resourceful Santa Fe serves as a reminder that in the reduce, reuse, recycle hierarchy that REDUCE and REUSE trump recycle. While recycling is important, we are not going to recycle our way out of our current waste crisis (the NY Times explains this well in a video here).
So much of Sarah's work in recycling and sustainable materials management is simple making connections. Whether that is linking architectural salvage to new construction projects, helping events work towards zero waste, setting up reuse and repair centers, diverting food waste to create compost, finding appropriate nonprofits to receive donations or conducting waste audits to get a baseline from which to plan and measure future diversion success.
It is the need to make more of these connections to divert materials that led to the creation of Resourceful Santa Fe in 2020.
Strangely, the reality of the Coronavirus further created this opportunity. The 22nd annual Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival scheduled for November of 2020 cannot occur, as it will be impossible to meet the expected social distancing requirements at the event. Resourceful Santa Fe keeps the creative reuse ingenuity of the recycled art show alive and our gift shop will assist recycled-material artists sell their art. Resourceful Santa Fe is also birthed by the fact that creativity, repurposing, resourcefulness and spending time physically making things together feeds our souls and builds community. Things that we can definitely use more of in our world right now.