With the amount of samples flowing in and out of our office, we're often inundated with (almost) more than we can handle. Fortunately for the firm, we found a wonderful organization in which to donate our carpet, tile, steel, plastics and wood samples, in which they're reborn as student and teacher work's of art.
The Waste Not Center is a program of Keep Franklin County Beautiful (KFCB, receiving donations from businesses and local donors with extra goodies (some of you might remember Re:Art). The program benefits local area teachers, artists, and others for various types of projects, ranging from schools to galleries.
The center estimates that members receive about $4,000 of materials PER WEEK compared to what these items and supplies would cost if they were purchased at a traditional store. It never hurts to help those helping our kids.
So for about two years now, NBBJ has donated all of our excess (used, but not abused) pens, pencils, card stock, binders and material samples.
So, what do you do if you don't have a program like this available in your area?
You know that design firms receive some pretty amazing samples that would be otherwise discarded (hopefully into your company's comprehensive waste recycling programs!). A little while back, Ample Sample sponsored an "upcycling" design contest in collaboration with Tricycle, Inc. Needless to say that some of the finalist's entries were downright amazing!
Check them out on the finalist page (Flash saturated website, so no direct linkage).
Although the contest is over, it doesn't hurt to pre-plan for next year's event!