After Years of Collecting Beach Trash, This Artist Turned It Into an Incredible Mirror


Jun. 9 2023, Published 10:43 a.m. ET

We all know that most of us in the developed world produce a shocking amount of garbage — but there are ways to reduce our impact on the planet. For instance, one artist and TikTok creator shared a video of her journey creating a beautiful mirror, which she did by repurposing pieces of garbage she collected from the beach.

Recycling, upcycling, and repurposing all have their benefits to the planet, and this artist is an example of that.

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While it may not always feel like your zero-waste lifestyle is helping the environment enough, there is a cumulative benefit the more people adopt these types of habits. Making sustainable crafts is just one way to conserve landfill space and cut down on emissions from factories that make new products.

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How can you turn trash into art?

You've probably noticed, as I have, that the internet has plenty of hacks for creating something new and fun using found objects or trash. Hannah Tizedes, a TikTok creator with a nonprofit called The Cleanup Club, shared how she's repurposed pieces of plastic found along the beach into a decorative piece for her home.

She says in her TikTok video that she has collected bits of plastic from her local beaches for a long time, and shows containers filled with these pieces, organized by color. She then explains that she was able to buy an "ugly circle mirror" for just $5 by searching Facebook Marketplace.

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So Tizedes enlisted the help of her dad, who worked with her to create a wooden frame using some scrap wood (this replaced the metal frame the mirror already had).

After attaching the frame, she shows footage of herself fixing the colorful pieces of beach-found trash into the frame in a fun and festive way, resulting in a rainbow-hued mosaic pattern. In her narration, she shares that she loves the new mirror, and it makes her happy to see it each day.

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That old, out-of-date mirror found a new life with Tizedes, who had already been gathering the colorful pieces of plastic from the beach for years. It's a great reminder that when you have old items you no longer want or need, there are options for giving those pieces a new home, instead of simply chucking them into the trash.

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What other upcycling crafts has Hannah Tizedes shared to TikTok?

Viewers were impressed with the simple craft that repurposes found items most people would simply leave on the beach (or throw in the garbage). One commenter wrote: "This is so amazing. Not only are you helping the environment, but the outcome of your art is stunning!"

Tizedes responded to the comment, noting that she has been "making art with trash for years."

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An impressive piece of Tizedes' art features over 900 pieces of plastic collected from various shores of the Great Lakes. The TikTok about it shows how she created it and then had it installed on display at Sea Life Aquarium in Auburn Hills, Mich. I don't know about you, but I think it's pretty incredible!

Tizedes' TikTok channel says that her focus is "creativity and sustainability," as well as "cleaning up and making art with trash." Her other videos focus on topics such as:

  • How plastic ends up in the ocean
  • Her favorite sustainable camping items
  • Why sweet potatoes are individually wrapped in stores
  • Her imperfect low-waste travel toiletries.
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