Sarah Evans

Graphic Design / Visual Communications Major

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

18” x 24”, 18” x 27”, 18” x 24”

Paper trash, textile scraps, and recycled plywood


As a designer and typography student, I am often concerned with and fascinated by the power of communication to influence the thoughts and actions of society. Words naturally became the focus of my work for this exhibit. I began to wonder, What words are most catchy, memorable, or helpful in regards to changing our behavior toward the environment? As a child, I was always taught to “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” These words have always made me feel a sense of hope. They remind me that even when the situation seems bleak, methods still exist that can help lessen our environmental impact. To me, this phrase contains the essence of sustainability.


Awareness is the first step toward meaningful change. My series of mixed media “posters” portrays this progression from awareness to action, using the mantra of “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” as its source of inspiration. A collage of literal garbage produced over the course of one week, “Reduce” is a tangible metaphor for the multitudes of waste that humans produce, and a solution for how to ameliorate this issue. “Reuse” a quilt made from abandoned fabrics, offers another solution for reducing waste by creating something new and useful from preexisting products, instead of using more resources. Lastly, “Recycle” is a collage of paper foliage and flowers made from recycled and seed paper, dually representing one more solution to the issue of waste, and the natural healing process of renewal.