Friday, July 9, 2010
"Use It Up!..."
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico makes me angrier by day after long day. It amazes me that our country, so technologically savy, educated, so caring in so many ways, cannot understand the negative impact we do to our earth daily. I have always been an environmentalist, 'Earth Bird', 'Tree Hugger'... Call me whatever... I am proud of it. I realized long ago, that our own day to day living as part of a much larger wasteful society, causes the diverse, interdependent, fragile natural habitats, our own health, the health of our rivers and air to become ill. I knew we each must do our part, so I create art from recycled materials. This was my emphasis in the beginning, and still is a great part of my art- to make something beautiful from wasted materials. I remember my late Mother always using this anonymous quote with us: "Use it Up! Wear it out! Make it Do! Or do Without!" Yes, she was from the Great Depression era, but they were not wasters.
We recycle as much as we can in our home and in the studios trying to make, at least, a bit of a dent where so many do little but expect the earth to churn out the natural resources forever. Meanwhile, most gets dumped in landfills here, in poorer countries or our oceans. We have a composter for all the plant and vegetable clippings. It creates wonderful topsoil for my plants and herbs. We fold all cardboards from cereal, cracker boxes, junk mail and and heavier papers, and along with any metals or glass, deliver them to the recycle box or the recycling place in town. We drive little and conserve gas. With our list we make one trip to town instead of three or four. I enjoy going to second hand thrift stores looking for objects for my art and many other things to re-appropriate into new items. We try to buy things with less packaging, and bring our own handmade bags to the grocery stores made from the Jeans I found at the thrift stores.
Some will say I'm crazy, and I've been told this on many occasions over the years. It's said with such distaste and disdain too. But my answer to them is a simple refrain, 'Where is your personal responsibility to your own well-being, that of your children's, or to the Earth? Who does it start with, someone else? Why not you? When do we stop taking from the Earth and give something back?' We all can do a little something- "Count your pennies and the dollars add up" is a good old quote, and we can easily think of ourselves as the Pennies on the Earth that will add up to a cleaner, healthier Dollar planet if we choose to do our part.
What are some ideas you may have for re-purposing art materials or ridding your workspace of some of the toxins you may use? Let's share ideas in the name of Mother Earth today, - Everyday is Earth Day, or it should be!
Check this video out...