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From Fiji Times Online (26 May 2009)

Magic from nothing

Scrap recycle genius Craig Marlow displays his work of art made from bottles and other assorted scrap material

HE started feeling strongly about the environment and its care at the age of 11.

Craig Marlow maybe famous for collecting bottles, plastics and making decorations out of them but what is more important to note is his passion for doing what he does and why he does it.

He is a living example of someone who does make that one degree of difference and is a true inspiration for people to have the right attitude when it comes to environmental care.

Craig spends a couple of hours walking in the capital city everyday collecting almost anything lying on the street that he feels can be made into something.

Making something out of nothing he says is magic for him.

"Nothing is so bad that it's not good for something," he says.

"I think it is a challenge that you can create something out of nothing and for me, that is a form of real magic,".

Craig recycles almost everything that can be possibly reused and put to good use. He was inspired to do so by his mother Liebling Marlow since he was a small boy.

"My mother taught me never to throw anything away. I even feel for a ragged shoe or some poor old furniture that is lying in some corner," he says.

"I make an effort to bring it home and make something out of it. With this attitude I have collected so many things and making something out of nothing does give a good feeling at the end of the day."

Craig is internationally known and recognised for his paintings and making flowers and chandeliers out of plastic bottles which is a new form of art.

He is also actively involved in environment awareness and training with youth and NGOs such as WWF, National Trust and Live and Learn Fiji.

Craig says youths should have faith and will-power to make something out of nothing and Fiji, as a result, would be a better and cleaner place to live in.

He was determined to make a difference while travelling around the world with his parents in the 1970s.

"Only then did I realise how small and fragile this planet really is," he says.

"It was around this time when the US Government was about to mark its first Earth Day. I saw the population and pollution as issues.

"Plastics and disposable products were becoming common items and no one was taking any responsibility of. There were developments taking place everywhere, new jobs were created but no one was concerned about the disposal of rubbish that was also increasing with the advancing technology."

Craig is a founding member of OCEAN (Oceania Conservation and Environment Awareness Network) in Fiji and was actively involved in raising awareness on the plight of sea turtles in the 1990s.

He was also involved with protests against French nuclear tests at Moruroa in 1995.

Craig enjoys doing something he believes in and has true passion for.

"It is important to do something that keeps you happy rather than doing something that just pays the bills," he said.

To do unto others what you do for yourself is this compassionate man's motto in life.

"At the end of your life, leave the world as a better place than when you found it. We all can make a difference."

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