Innovate Every Day

If I’ve learned anything since I’ve been here in Ecuador it is that innovation is key. I don’t mean innovation in the sense of the big, huge ideas (aka big hairy ideas) that people share at TED conferences, although those are cool too. What I mean are the little innovations that we practice each and every day. I think it was Plato who said: “Necessity is the mother of invention.

Maybe it’s because I have more time or maybe it’s because I am living in a place without access to as many resources as I had in New York City, but I’ve been practicing more inventing. Not that I didn’t innovate before – we all do in small ways. It’s just that now I’m doing it more often and with different applications so I am noticing it more.

AAn example: we couldn’t run out to Bed, Bath & Beyond or Ikea to buy  a shoe rack so Paul repurposed some old wooden shelves and the half-used buckets of paint we had lying around the house to create a shoe rack. Does it work? Of course it does. Did it cost anything? Nope. Does it look as good as the stainless steel one we would have bought in our old life in NYC? No. Actually, I think it looks better. Why? Because it has personality, it’s better for the environment, it gives little used items a new place to be, and above all it’s functional.

Below you will see a few more innovations that we have put into place around our Peace Corps pad. I think my new motto is going to be: Innovate Every Day!

Enjoy, Mari


Clothing Rack




Materials used: A piece of cane found during a recent beach clean-up, varnish, rope, and two eye hooks.


Bead Drying Rack




Materials used: paperclips (three per small rack), wooden skewer, plastic bag, bowl, and tape.






Materials used: cardboard, craft knife, clear packing tape, images cut from a magazine.


Tags: ,

7 responses to “Innovate Every Day”

  1. kimberly says :

    This is fantastic. In fact, I believe that these small innovations are where the large ones should actually start.

  2. Bruce MacKenzie says :

    Love the clothes pole. . . better than mine, a dark, stuffy closet. A great use of a corner, and, if you market it this way, not a clothes pole at all, but soft sculpture. My brother in law used to make plaster casts of folded shirts and put them on the wall as bas relief. I like your idea better. Plus, it’s a constantly rotating exhibit.

    • Mari says :

      Thanks Bruce! I LOVE the idea of installation art – it definitely appeals to my love of form and function! Take care, Mari

  3. nikkialicia says :

    LOVE THIS. So creative. Working with what we have is a challenge, but also makes us more human I think. Us TEFLERS are doing this too with our lack of teaching materials!!

  4. Creative Donkey says :

    great collections!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: