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I took my toddler to the Garden Railway at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park yesterday, and it was a smash hit for both of us. He was obsessed with the “choo choos,” and I was enthralled by the incredible scenery: when you looked closely, each San Francisco landmark was made from recycling. The de Young museum rests on an old VCR base, the Transamerica building gleams with old CDs and computer keys, and those classic Victorians take their shape from cereal boxes.
According to the Conservatory of Flowers website:

In keeping with years past, local trash-to-treasure artist James Sellier who works for the Artist-in-Residence program in the recycling division at Recology in S.F., has creatively crafted the many new landmark buildings for this year’s display from recycled and repurposed materials to reflect the Conservatory’s environmental mission. The Park’s Carousel rotates on an old record player, and the Dutch Windmill’s blades are made from discarded rulers.

I see so many “reuse” projects that frankly still look like trash — these miniature sculptures have given me a new eye for ways to use old CDs, broken bead necklaces, packaging, and even plastic spoons!


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