The Creative Zone: What Better Way to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle?

The Creative Zone is proof that one person's trash is another person's treasure. Since early 2000, this non-profit organization located in Mississauga, Ontario has followed the true definition of reduce, reuse and recycle by collecting unwanted items destined for landfills so that teachers and child care providers can find materials that help increase and enhance their classroom resources. 

Operated by two sisters, Joan Orr-Fahey and Eileen Orr, and with a little help from summer students and volunteers, the organization sources and sorts a vast range of supplies generously donated by local companies and businesses. Typical materials include shoeboxes, fabric, packaging materials, books and magazines, plastic flower pots and binders. Popular items are those that come in multiples of 30, as well as wood surface/sample pieces, and unless a very large donation is made, most items go very quickly. Teachers from the Peel District School Board, Kindergarten staff from the Dufferin Peel Catholic School Board and child care operators in Peel visit The Creative Zone and gather items at no cost for students who turn them into science and math projects, stage props, signs and banners, and use them for various arts and crafts, like turning a zipper pouch into a pencil case or creating a Father's Day gift from discontinued panel samples.

Upper Canada Forest Products strives to be a workplace that is dedicated to environmental sustainability in all facets of our work, focused on protecting and improving the quality of our workplace and the communities in which we live. Our culture of commitment to our communities and to the environment and sustainability was the foundation for our decision to support The Creative Zone through the donation of items we no longer need. We simply drop them off and they are transformed into school projects. We love items we no longer need being reused, recycled and repurposed.

About The Creative Zone

The Creative Zone is a partnership comprised of Family Day Care Services, the Peel District School Board, the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, the YMCA of Greater Toronto, PLASP and the Region of Peel.

The Creative Zone may be able to offer a cost-effective alternative for surplus product or materials destined for the garbage. Unsure if they could use your materials? Give them a call, and they will advise if they can offer your materials a new home.

To learn more about The Creative Zone and how you can donate items please visit: 

Other Organizations

If you are interested in donating unwanted materials in your area, please visit:

The WasteShed - Chicago

The WasteShed seeks to provide Chicago with an organized, affordable and reliable resource for repurposed art, craft and school materials, and with a dynamic center for activities pertaining to sustainability, art, craft, education and material culture.

Resources Area for Teaching (RAFT) - Denver

RAFT gathers unwanted items from local businesses and upcycles them into interesting and unique learning activities.

DRAW Inc. - Salt Lake City

DRAW Inc. combines fine arts education and Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM) to create an engaging and applicable real world experience to

ReCreative - Seattle

Seattle ReCreative is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting creativity, community and environmental stewardship through creative reuse and art education.

The Dreaming Zebra - Portland

The Dreaming Zebra provides an art recycling program that is free to the public. Reusable art and music supplies that would otherwise be discarded, along with new or unsold materials, are donated by individuals and businesses and matched to recipients who have requested those materials for arts education purposes in the community.

reDiscover - Los Angeles

reDiscover serves Los Angeles area youth through arts-integrated education programs that promote creative problem solving and environmental awareness using recycled cast-off materials repurposed into learning tools.

The Creative Zone: What Better Way to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle?



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