On the 10th of December staff from New York University Shanghai gathered at the beautiful lake side patio in Yangshe Village near Dianshan Lake for their annual teambuilding activity. What better way to do this than by participating in a hands-on carpentry workshop while contributing their time and skills to help the local village community and recycle old, discarded wood in the process.
THE PROBLEM OF DISCARDED WOOD
Villages landscapes across the country are changing rapidly and the locals are constantly looking to upgrade their houses and lifestyles. In the process there is a constant stream of discarded materials like old wooden doors, window frames, support beams and other accessories that get thrown away. The waste management handling capacity in the suburban districts of Shanghai are limited and quite often these materials get thrown away along with the rest of the trash or sometimes event burnt in the open fields.
Green Initiatives works closely with the Lakeside Art Community (LAC) to collect these discarded, yet perfectly usable wooden items and upcycle them into refurbished furniture, which are then used by the local community.
OLD WOOD REUSE CARPENTRY WORKSHOP
The team braved the weather and gathered at Yangshe village on a cold winter afternoon to complete their contribution to the local community. The local village carpenter identified a few old doors and wooden planks which were in really good condition and could be reused for a long time.
The team split into two groups and then rolled up their sleeves to get down to working on their carpentry skills. To begin with, they drew sketches of the structure and discussed the plan with the carpenter. Once they got going, all cutting, sawing, nailing, and fixing was done purely using hand tools only, a pleasant break from modern technology and electric appliances.
The team learnt how to saw wood from different angles, hammer nails with accuracy and build a set of sturdy and attractive tables to be used for future workshops conducted by the community.
It was a great team effort with the 2 groups supporting each other and also competing to build the best-looking table. 3 hours later, an entire afternoon’s hard work finally paid off and the groups were sitting on their newly built furniture, wearing proud smiles across their faces.
The Lakeside Art Community located at the beautiful Dianshan Lake, in the suburbs of Shanghai is a vibrant community who pays great attention to the sustainable development of the local ecology and culture and advocates a harmonious lifestyle with nature is at its center.
Through these workshops, Green Initiatives and LAC hopes to educate people on how to co-exist with nature by experiencing traditional low carbon lifestyles, encouraging the spread of these eco-friendly traditions, and stimulating a relationship between humans and nature by understanding the idea of “Symbiosis with Nature.”
If you are interested in conducting similar team building activities or willing to support the Dianshan Lakeside Art Community (LAC), please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.