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Rev. Aimee Moiso
Friday, Jul. 1, 2011
Being creative and being sustainable could be two very distinct and separate qualities. Campus Ministry's Director of Ecumenical and Interfaith Ministries Reverend Aimee Moiso proves this assumption wrong. Recently highlighted at a Human Resources workshop about repurposing, Moiso illustrated how her crafts made from reused and salvaged materials can save money and conserve resources.
One could say that crafting is in her blood. She grew up in a household where her mother made her Halloween costumes and her father made some of her toys. Her family made ice cream, canned fruit, and composted their food scraps before it was fashionable.
"We didn't think of it as 'crafty' per se" said Moiso. "It was just what we did - it matched our family's values of thrift, non-consumerism, creativity, hands-on activity, learning skills, and not being wasteful." Moiso has retained these childhood qualities and channeled them into her current crafts and projects. While Moiso's motivation for crafting is more for its creativity and thrifting purposes, she does it in a way that is distinctly sustainable. She embodies the definition of sustainability as a "quality of life" matter rather than something relating only to the environment. Her sustainable crafts have become her way to relax and rejuvenate through the creative process.
"Sometimes when I feel out of balance–too busy or stressed–I just want to make something..." said Moiso, "At night if I can’t sleep, I lie in bed and think of projects I could do–it engages a creative part of my brain that both relaxes me and makes me excited to welcome the next day when I might get to make something new." But just because she crafts to save money and to create new things doesn't mean she isn't aware of the environmental benefits of her projects.
"Thrift and sustainability go hand in hand" said Moiso. "If you starting thinking about how to be responsible about what you have and not buy more because you’re thrifty, it translates into saving the planet because both are about taking care of what you have and not needing to acquire more and more."
Moiso finds her crafting supplies at many different places: she receives them from relatives or saves old clothing for their material. A woman at her church noticed some colorful buttons on a skirt Moiso made and proceeded to donate her entire button collection for use in her projects.
"I’m always looking for new materials that are in abundance and might otherwise be wasted" said Moiso. "I recently bought a sweater at the Salvation Army, unraveled it, and used the yarn for other knitting projects. I've cut plastic bags into strips and coiled them into a basket. I used heavy-weight plastic bags as the basis for homemade plastic baby bibs."
But her ideas don't stop there. She also cites the internet as a community of crafting and repurposing ideas where even the most novice beginners can begin their journey towards becoming crafting fiends. Moiso even supplied some tips and tricks for crafting beginners: "Start small, and foster your curiosity. Ask yourself, 'What else could I do with this?' Pretty soon, you’ll start seeing possibilities all around you!"
By Molly Kagel, '11, Sustainability Intern