Many makers and crafters rightly see an environmentalist side to the way we reuse things and get creative with trash. The Sierra Club agrees. For over a year now, my wife Wendy has been having fun writing the “Repurpose” column for their magazine Sierra. It’s a beginner-friendly craft column that shows people how to turn common household throwaways into new useful objects.

I think it’s unusual for a major environmental organization to give regular space to craft how-to, but it shows that switch-flipping people’s self-image from helpless consumer to empowered and enlightened maker can be as much a part of environmentalism as fighting headline political battles over large wilderness areas.

In the print version of Sierra, “Repurpose” is a one-page overview, and complete instructions for the projects are published online. So far, our favorites are the Cassette Tape Purse and the Blazer Backpack, but they’re all neat, and Wendy has been enjoying getting to know the Dremel (among other tools). Here’s a link archive:

Calling all remakers, upcyclers, found object artists, and refuse miracle makers! Win a MakerBot Replicator and a trip to World Maker Faire in NYC! Submit your idea to Project Remake, presented by Schick.