Sustainable living has become a popular content niche on TikTok, with users sharing everything from thrifting tips to secondhand home design. But one influencer is getting a major round of applause for the creative ways she turns trash into art without letting a single bit go to waste — and it’s pretty awesome to watch.
The artist behind it all is named Jessica, and she goes by the TikTok handle @loveheylola.
In her videos, Jessica frequently shares clips of beach walks, during which she picks up discarded trash for two reasons: one, to keep the shoreline clean for beachgoers, and two, to use as inspiration for her quirky creations.
Many times, the trash she comes across is made of plastic, which is one of the hardest materials to break down and notoriously harmful to sea life. But instead of bagging it up and bringing it to a recycling plant, Jessica “recycles” it herself.
In fact, one of her recent viral videos shows exactly what she does with plastic straws.
According to Jessica, she collects colorful plastic straws from the beach in old Ziploc bags (which she has been reusing for a long time). Once she gets the straws home, she cleans and sanitizes them before placing them in a drawer.
When she’s ready, she cuts flower shapes out of the straws and makes 3D floral earrings she then sells in her online shop.
But the process doesn’t just end there.
Because Jessica is so committed to producing zero waste, she takes the leftover straw pieces and cuts them into what she calls a “confetti-like” mix. Then, using bio resin, she goes on to make more sets of earrings out of the remaining materials.
Believe it or not, that still leaves her with a few leftovers — including a lightweight dust made of plastic particles. But instead of tossing it in the trash, she carefully collects it, places it in a jar and saves it for later to use as a pigment when making even more earrings.
In her post caption, Jessica elaborates even more on her process.
“I use a closed system for sanding with a dedicated shop vac,” she writes. “Nothing is ever rinsed in sinks or washed down drains. Most of the garbage that I create that can’t be used for jewelry is incorporated into sculptures. It’s super hard to be zero-waste, and I don’t think I’m there, but I’m definitely trying!”
As you might imagine, the TikToker has left more than a few viewers in awe. (In fact, one person praised her for being a “resourceful queen.”)
“I love everything you do and the way you use EVERY BIT is massively impressive,” wrote one commenter.
“If the people in power cared about changing pollution, this woman would be in a creative director position,” said another.
“you are a gift to this earth!” yet another person added. “love what you’re doing.”
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