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Recycled Beauty: Supporting a Cause with Video

Can advertisements be used to inspire people into supporting a cause like recycling and inform them about best-practices along the way? Ellen Callaway of Callaway Photo, is using her skills as a food and product photographer to do just this. She’s created an advertising campaign called Recycled Beauty that’s designed to build knowledge and passion around recycling. Her photos are beautiful and informative and also promote recyclables as valuable raw materials in the economy.

I’ve been passionate about the environment for as long as I can remember. In fact, when I began college at a non-recycling institution, I sent my mom home with bags of recyclables like smelly milk jugs and crusty yogurt containers whenever she visited. So, I recycled and built my awareness about best practices throughout my education and early travels as a photographer, but really began to dive into the topic when I opened my own photo studio in Arlington, MA. From that steady location, I began to look-into the specific recycling rules and regulations of that area. I wanted answers to the pressing recycling questions that I’d held for years, such as ‘What if food is left in the recyclables?’ and ‘What if an item is made of mixed materials?’ So, I started volunteering with the Arlington Recycling Committee to find out.

In turn, I’ve answered these questions and more about how recycling works for various materials, observed the challenges that my town faces in diverting trash and in communicating guidelines to the public.

In time, I saw the connection between my trash reduction research and passion for descriptive photos to tell a story. Here, I had an opportunity to make visual connections between the wastes that we humans generate and how we can reduce and reuse them, give them new life through processes that are way more beautiful and exciting to take-on than a generic stock photo might portray.

So, the images in Recycled Beauty are informative and capture these valuable wastes as I would an intriguing product to be sold in the marketplace – transforming the “eyesore” of trash into an attractive, valuable raw material with endless potential.”

I ultimately hope that these Recycled Beauty photos are used to educate the public about the importance of recycling and how to do it correctly in a clear and inspiring way. Meanwhile, I’m working with entrepreneurs and leaders in the recycling community to build knowledge and excitement around recyclables as raw materials – earthy friendly and good for business.

Support a Cause: Recycled Beauty