Living in a small space one learns the ropes of being resourceful; “waste not, want not” is no longer the dated adage used by former generations but a modern day motto for the eco-conscious community. Island living historically has followed the same principles. At 161 square miles, the Turks and Caicos Islands are one of the smallest countries in the world with one of the rarest and most valuable eco-systems on the planet. An encyclopedia book could be filled with the ways in which islanders have made the most out of their surroundings and readily available found objects. The earliest inhabitants used the staple conch for everything from food, to hand tools, to vessels, to adornment, even the deep bellowing sound of the shell when trumpeted as a form of communication. As much of the developed world has evolved to a disposable society, the Caribbean can relish in the tried and true traditions of its past, discovering multiple uses for just about anything.I have always been a big fan of found objects; growing up in a sparsely populated state in the old west where nostalgia burns bright and much is left of the past. There is no shame in my admission that the neighborhood refers to me as the “trash lady” (fitting as the founder of the TCI Rubbish Runners) and the staff at the Red Cross and Salvation Army thrift stores know me on a first name basis. I not only love the creative process of transforming discards to one-of-a-kind designs, I take great joy in rescuing pieces otherwise destined for destruction, finding beauty or purpose in items that have been deemed no longer worthy of use. After listening to a clients design needs, I will firstly evaluate what they already own and ways in which we can breathe new life into the pieces they may have lost love or practical purpose for. With mainstream media giving popularity to television shows like “Picker Sisters” more and more people are able to see the value in recycling more than just their plastics and papers. Likewise, savvy consumers are demanding more unique, individualized goods made from reclaimed or recycled materials. The Turks and Caicos being a biodiversity “hot spot,” we must be more conscientious and careful to rethink our trash, there simply isn’t precious space to waste ON waste. Re-use, re-purpose, re-invent, re-vamp!