NASSAU, BAHAMAS — While the holidays are synonymous with the colors red and gold, this season, the New Providence Ecology Park (NPEP) wants you to think green.
In a statement, NPEP said: “The truth is, while we may enjoy giving and receiving presents, the practice can potentially create tons of waste that end up in landfills… This year, consider gifting eco-friendly products you can purchase from local artisans who give a second life to materials that many of us would not give a second thought.”
It added, “While the weeks leading up to Christmas can get hectic, we can all make adjustments to reduce our carbon footprint — especially when we consider the amount of waste usually produced around this time.
“Be a part of the solution by supporting businesses that help curb waste by making the best use of materials that are already available.”
Furniture and fashion accessories from upcycled tires
Candis Marshall describes herself as a jack of all trades. As a budding entrepreneur, the artist specializes in upcycling tires to create jewelry and furniture.
In 2015, Marshall’s son approached her with the idea to make wallets out of old tires to earn extra income for a family vacation. She has grown to produce a range of accessories from that early idea, including necklaces, earrings, bracelets, belts and satchels that range from $20 to $120.
“This holiday, I have created a collection of tire products like bracelets and earrings that I’m offering for Christmas, and then on the other end of things, I’ve created a nature-inspired line of table mats and napkin rings and things of that nature.”
Marhsall’s designs can be purchased from the gift shop at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) or online from her website: https://cajouben.fws.store/.
Turning glass shards into sea glass jewelry
On Abaco, Hilary Thompson and Erika Feszt-Russell, otherwise known as the Two Island Chicks, turn naturally weathered pieces of glass that wash up on beaches into beautiful jewelry. The duo combines the sea glass with pebbles, shells and other natural elements to transform the remnants of litter from broken bottles into fashionable pieces.
Feszt-Russell said while their venture started out as a “therapeutic outlet” for them, it quickly blossomed into a handmade eco-friendly accessory line they were eager to share with others.
Now, the pair offers pre-made designs as well as custom pieces including necklaces, bracelets and charms that can be purchased by contacting them through Two Island Chick’s social media pages.
“I’ve also had people who found their own sea glass and asked us to make something out of it, so there’s nothing else like it,” Feszt-Russell explained.
Making the most out of coconuts
Entrepreneur Donovan McKenzie lives by a zero-waste philosophy with Coco Splash, specializing in coconut milk and water and offering custom-made coconut cups.
“I started out making coconut drinks, and then I eventually branched out and ended up creating cups and keepsakes from the coconut shell that was leftover,” he said.
“My coconut cups are made with coconut shells that are taken from a coconut that is in its last stages. We offer different designs depending on the style that the client wants, and our prices range from $7 to $20.”
To purchase, contact Coco Splash through its social media pages or by calling or texting 445-1717. Products will also be on sale at Marina Village from December 17 to 23 and the Reef and Cove from December 24 to 31.