Adapt or die.
It is not a secret that the “secret” of humanity and all the species that are alive today on planet earth, is adaptation. There is this popular quote often incorrectly attributed to Darwin (the real author is unknown):
“It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself.”
COVID-19 stopped the world. Lockdowns have had different restrictions in every country, but change is happening everywhere. Almost overnight, we were forced to adapt and reinvent the way we do things, the way we work, eat, socialize, buy, everything. All these changes were indispensable to keep us going, keep eating, keep us alive.
The direct relationship between adaptation and survival became clear. It also became clear how few things we need to achieve a good, happy, fulfilled life, and the direct relationship between our consumption and the survival of businesses.
So then, why can’t we adapt our lifestyles to be more sustainable? Science hasn’t figured out yet how to cure COVID, but it knows that if we don’t change our lifestyle and our consumption patterns, we will disappear.
Where did our survival instinct go? I think it may be paralyzed, making it almost impossible to make that significant shift. However, survival comes from more of a sum of little changes and readjustments.
All these thoughts were triggered by the need to make a gift in the middle of lockdown. I had in mind a phone stand, useful now in home office times. Buying one was not an option (in Perú, online shopping wasn’t allowed), so I decided to make it. I thought of sustainable materials I could get at home: cardboard, clay, a used plastic bottle, and then, finally, I came across my lego bucket I keep for years.
If we stop for a second, and maybe that is the hardest part, we can see more clearly how simple it is and how impossible it sometimes seems to have less, reuse more, choose sustainable, and reduce our landfill contribution. For a gift, and for everything, there are options, always.
Here are some pics of “the gift.” Hopefully, they will inspire you to meet any of your needs or wants by reusing what you have around. I enjoyed making this gift — the adaptability, the possibility to become a toy again, or something else. Even though it is plastic, it has proved to be not just single-use; it can be used and reused many times.
Here is the end product — a simple phone stand that allows for a vertical or horizontal position:
Then we included additional pieces to adjust the incline:
We realized that we could not charge the phone while in vertical use. So, excited by all the possibilities, we came with this elaborate design:
Finally, we added a second phone charger stand for when we are not at the desk and need to use a plug directly:
If you get inspired to make one, please do not buy new Legos. There are thousands already around. If flea markets or second-hand fairs are not yet open, check out second-hand online platforms. Incomplete Lego sets are often sold for very symbolic prices, and you can adapt a design with any pieces you get. You can also ask your friends and their kids to gift you a Lego piece, and you will have an adaptable phone stand that will survive COVID and that you can reinvent again and again.
I got hooked on all the ways I could use Legos, so my next project will be a napkin holder. Let me know if you make something and if you share a photo even better!
PAOLA // Lima