Joseph Stodgel is one of 18 Sustainable Cup Challenge fellows at The DO School in Dumbo and has been working closely with his other fellows to find a solution to the seven million plastic and paper drink cups that are used and discarded every day in New York. This Santa Fe native has a Master of Science from Plymouth University where he began acting on his motivation to change the way that important ecological issues are addressed. Joseph is currently living in Brooklyn and working on the Do School challenge as well as planning projects with Only Green Design in New Mexico and Greyton Transition Town in South Africa.
If you want to connect with Joseph, you can find him online here:
LinkedIn: Joseph Stodgel
STATE: What motivated you to found Trash to Treasure when you were living in South Africa?
Joseph: I was motivated by the several things when I decided to throw a festival at the local dumping site and start Trash to Treasure. Firstly, I saw the need to bring more people to the destination point of the materials that they produced in their homes and see the ecological damage that is caused by these materials. Raising awareness is key to solving any issue.
Secondly, I wanted to provide all sorts of examples of how these regular trash materials can be used in truly beneficial and resilience bolstering ways. The festival accomplishes this through its buildings which are all made primarily of upcycled dumpsite materials and through its varied workshops where people can learn how to turn their trash into treasures.
STATE: What do you think the biggest threat to the environment is?
Joseph: Humanity’s ecological disassociation is the biggest threat to the environment as a whole - people’s imposed disconnection from their surroundings and foundation in the natural world. We as humans are a part of nature and the environment, but have created belief systems that tell us stories otherwise, such as that we are irrevocably separate and removed from the natural world. The only way that humanity will survive on this planet is by recognizing that we are this planet, and that everything we do to the rest of life here, we do to ourselves.
STATE: Tell us a little bit more about your plan to sell recycled products and minimize fossil-fuel inputs.
Joseph: The goal of the systems that my colleagues and I are developing is to see the full diversion and utilization of the waste stream. Glass, metals, plastics, paper and food waste can all be upcycled into building materials, alternative technologies, household and personal items, art supplies and soil amendments.
Because there is an overwhelmingly lot of trash, we look primarily to upcycled building applications and products to accomplish this diversion. This may be the utilization of materials in number as they are, such as a wall built from earth-rammed tires, or the creation of insulation panels from compressed waste plastics.
Other important products are compost from food waste and alternative technologies from waste glass and metals such as glass bottle solar water heaters. Small products such as purses made from billboard material, or bags made of concrete sacks are important too, and offer more employment opportunities and revenue generation.
In our projected systems, fossil fuel inputs are minimized through alternative transportation systems such as bicycle transport and the full upcycling of materials locally. Instead of shipping trash to far-flung landfills and recycling facilities, they will be gathered and utilized within the local area and distributed back to the local market.
April showers bring May flowers and we value protecting and preserving the Earth’s beauty and resources. So this month at STATE, we’re celebrating conservation. Whether you’re a recycler, a gardener, a DIY-er or just a fan of the environment, STATE’s got your back.
Last week we unveiled our special new collaboration with streetwear designer/restaurant owner brother duo, Dee and Ricky Jackson.
Dee and Ricky are most famous for their LEGO accessories that have been worn by celebrities like Kanye West, Rihanna and The Roots’ Questlove and were featured in Marc Jacobs’ spring 2008 runway show. This talented duo has since collaborated with hit brands such as Casio, Puma, Converse, Joyrich, Mirraco, Pony, Urban Boulder and now STATE.
Our new STATE x Dee and Ricky bags are just what spring ordered. Get yours now!
What’s red, yellow, blue and camo all over? Our new collaboration bag, launching this week! Stay tuned…you’ve never seen STATE quite like this before.
With Spring just around the corner, the longer days are practically begging for an outfit that mixes the best of winter (cozy knit sweaters + booties) with the best of spring (lightweight skirts + bright totes). The Ashton is an absolute must-have for a lady on the go. Change from a tote to a backpack and back again in a snap.
Photo credit: Love, Limzy
Photo Credit: Barry Munger
Spring is a time of renewal. As the weather warms up and the plants start to grow, our collective mood raises after a long, cold winter. It’s a great season. But here in New York, spring is a state of mind. We’re always on the move toward something bigger and better.
We built STATE Bags on six core values, a dedication to our community, and a desire to create something unique. Just in time for a brand new season, we’re excited to push forward some brand new things of our own.