Sunday, April 1, 2018

365 Day Art Challenge: Week 13, AKA This is no April Fool's Post

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate the day.  

This is April and every year in April, I like to share ideas about how to rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle, re-invent, redesign, re-craft, recover, restore, rebuild, revamp, reclaim, or repurpose something in order to save it from the trash, and ultimately to save our planet.  Which of course, leads to respect: respect for our planet, respect for trash as art, and respect for what you and I as artists can achieve.   This all leads up to Earth Day on April 22, or as I prefer to call it, bEARTHday.

I realize I normally share my 365 Something art on Monday, but this week I am sharing them on Sunday so it doesn't conflict with our monthly *Second on the 2nd link up party. 

Here are my collages for Week 13.  This 365 something project was created in part and hosted by Hanna at i Hanna.  This entire month I will be using nothing but scraps from one of my scrap piles I have collected.  I segregated them by color, and this month you will probably might possibly get tired of seeing so many of the same bits and pieces I have cut to make these collages.

In case you missed them, here are Week 12's cards.  All of my collages are 4" X 4" (10,16 cm X 10,16 cm).

On a silver platter

Running in circles

That layered look

Kickapoo and Tyler, too

A touch of paradise
3 of a kind

Written from the heart
Thank you so much for joining me today.  If you are playing in Hanna's 365 Something project, please let me know and I will be by to see what you are making.  Please let me know if you like any of these.  As always, I am very grateful for your continued support of my art.  

This is Day 1 of 22 and I created seven small collages using scraps of paper that are too small to be used for anything else.

*Second on the 2nd is a post that you have published in the past and want to show a second time.  We share these every second day of every month, so please feel free to join us with your own second look back at a previously published post.

And because today is Easter, I'm going to rant again about how much waste we put in our landfill due to Easter.  Some of you have seen this before, but those new to my blog will see why this is one of the worst holidays of the year.  I call it Why Easter is NOT Green.

At the risk of repeating myself, I've said this before: for being so green, Easter isn't really green at all.  So, please put up with my antics while I share my thoughts with you.

What do I mean by Easter not being green?  Easter celebrates a rebirth, time for renewal, time for spring. It often occurs around the time we celebrate Earth Day, too. So why is it, you ask, that it’s one of the most UN-green holidays ever? Plastic, plastic, plastic.

Plastic wrapped in plastic stuffed in a cardboard gift basket

Same baskets, expanded view.
In case you’ve never celebrated an Earth Day, or have never heard of, or thought about recycling, plastic is a petroleum product. It lives simply forever in the landfill. On a larger scale, it’s the material that wars have been fought over, especially those in my lifetime.
Although the bag is canvas, there is a ton of plastic in the bag.          
Plastic has taken over the Easter industry. There’s probably more plastic sold, then disposed of at Easter than at Christmastime, although I have no statistics to support that. Granted, even though I don’t have kids, I can see what is being sold in the stores: plastic baskets wrapped in cellophane or plastic, loaded with plastic eggs, along with individual chocolate bunnies wrapped in hard plastic shells, sitting atop plastic grass in various colors.

Plastic holding candy wrapped in plastic.
Even Peeps, those disgusting marshmallow confectioneries sold in the United States and Canada, shaped like chickens and bunnies, come wrapped in plastic.

I give this one credit.  Although the plastic gifts are wrapped in plastic, at least the "grass" doesn't look plastic and the "basket" is cardboard.
Am I a cynic? No. I love Easter. It even lands on my birthday on occasion. But parents need to indulge their children in a very different way using only recycled or eco-friendly materials to celebrate this holiday.  It will also provide a great teaching moment.

Possibly the worst offender of all the baskets I found at Sam's a few weeks ago.
Let’s look at some of the worse plastic Easter offenders and some possible alternatives.

1. Plastic Easter baskets. Alternative: buy natural fiber baskets at the thrift store, or dig out one you’ve had for years like I do.

2. Cellophane or plastic wrapped Easter gift baskets. Alternative: consider wrapping your Easter basket using tissue or other eco-friendly materials, such as old dress patterns. Or, leave it unwrapped if it doesn't have far to travel to reach the recipient.

3. Candy goodies wrapped in plastic to go in the plastic baskets. Alternative: dye real eggs using natural dyes with your kids and hide them in the baskets or outdoors early on Easter morning. Instead of buying the pre-made chocolate bunnies, why not buy a bar or two of your (or your kids) favorite chocolate and cover with various bunny stickers or rubber stamped images.

4. Plastic grass. Alternative: Use your paper shredder to make recyclable grass. When Easter is over, put the shredded paper in your compost pile or around the base of your plants. Don't leave it in your basket, because it might attract varmints or critters. If you have plastic grass, be sure to either dispose of it quickly and responsibly so pets (like curious cats, dogs, or birds) don't get into it and accidentally digest it, or do as I do, wrap your basket filled with the grass (probably purchased in the 80s) in a large kitchen trash bag that you keep from year to year.  Never dispose of it so birds can get it. They will be attracted to it to use in their nests.

5. Hard plastic or hard shell wrapped chocolate bunnies:  Alternative: Instead of a chocolate bunny, find the softest, cuddliest stuffed bunny rabbit to add to a child's Easter basket.

6. Plastic eggs.  Alternative: Here's a look at some I've covered with napkins in previous years.  
Note too, this is the same basket and same green plastic grass I use every year.

At the risk of repeating myself, I really appreciate your visit on this Easter Sunday.  And please don't forget to check out Alison/Craftytrog, our host this month at Art Journal Journey.  Her theme is recycle and collage.

18 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Love the collages, my fave is the second one, running in circles, possible because of the colours. Happy Easter, Valerie

Dortesjs said...

love your journal pages and easter photos - Happy Easter for you and your family

craftytrog said...

I love your collages Elizabeth, looking forward to seeing more this month ;-)
This is an (chocolate) egg free house, as we are sugar free here. All that plastic is shocking!
Off to Church this morning to celebrate Easter, wishing you and Bleubeard a very happy a blessed Easter.
Alison xxx
p.s. hope the keyboard can be fixed soon

froebelsternchen said...

Your collages are so clever again - wow!!! Your thoughts about the commercial aspect of all the Holidays are so true. I never bought Easter- oder Halloweentreats for my daughter - she just got something to play with or for crafting. Sweets and chocolate aren't just bad for our earth because of the plastic wrapping - they are also bad for the body and teeth. And it was good that I acted this way, my daughter is now nearly 18 and has just one single dental filling!
Not enough with Easter and Christmas - the commerc and industry take every chance to make a big event to sell their products ...
not just enough with X-Mas, Easter, Valentine's Day - they even brought with obtrusiveness Halloween to us from overseas 30 years ago just for the opportunity to sell even more... we never celebrated it before - it was a quiet Holiday in tribute to the dead people and the saints. They made a carneval out of it, just to sell more. That is the reason I don't like Halloween. But I won't write a novel now, sorry!

Happy Easter!
Happy AJJ!
Happy (B)earth Month!

oxo Susi

cc said...

However valid your points about plastic at Easter (and waste at holidays in general), Easter Sunday is probably the least effective time to post them. Posting before people buy their holiday gear would have made much more sense and been less likely to alienate the very people you most want to reach.

kathyinozarks said...

I love your collages and I totally back you on all this plastic-it seems worse at Easter too doesn't it-disgusting. commercialism is disgusting too and a huge part of problems in the way society is brought up today.
so I am in total agreement with you Elizabeth

My name is Erika. said...

You are so correct when it comes to Easter and plastic. It always amazes me that people buy need plastic eggs each year. Not only bad for the environment but what a waste of cash. NICE little essay about plastic and waste. :) And I love seeing your collages too. You know how to come up with the best titles-and I've told you that at least a hundred times I think. Happy Easter to you.Hugs-Erika

Gibby Frogett said...

Great collage ideas Elizabeth and interesting post and ideas about the recycling - thank you..
As some one who doesn't drive, I find it frustrating where I live, not to be able to recycle more. And living near the sea, all sorts of things also get washed up on the beach which is horrible.
But re the plastic, a few days ago I caught the end of an article on TV (which I meant to investigate further) which was about recycling plastic to use as a road surface. I'm not sure where they were doing it already - it may have been India.
Happy Easter... Gill xx

CJ Kennedy said...

Wonderful collages. Going around in circles look like roses. When my girlies were little, we had real baskets that we used from year to year until they fell apart. I did use plastic eggs, but re-used them each year to hold small candies like Hershey Kisses, M&Ms. and jelly beans. I use plastic eggs to keep my kneadable erasers clean and portable.

kathyinozarks said...

Hi Me again, do you like cookbooks? I have always had lots and lots of them and I have decided I really need to destash many of them. I have allot of vegetarian cookbooks from back in the 70s and 80s allot of them by Moosewood-if interested let me know-I just want a couple dollars for them and the postage Kathy

Meggymay said...

Happy Easter Elizabeth.
I have internet problems so sorry this is a brief reply.
Yvonne xx

Cindy McMath said...

You are keeping up well with the 365 project - can you believe we’re 1/3 of the way through? I love all this week’s entries - no surprise that Going Around in Circles is one of my favourites. As always, I love your clever titles. I loved your ideas on Easter alternatives. I will say if you can’t resist something with plastic packaging, at least get something that’s recyclable. As for the plastic grass, I never bought that. I actually bought paper grass - the paper shredding is such a good idea but sometimes convenience wins out! My son is all grown up now so I dion’t need to worry about Easter baskets any more.

Birgit said...

Love the cards and the way you designed the graphics on them with some having dark burgundy and each are unique. You are so right about plastic and we use it so much that we don’t even realize how much we depend on this crap. I am surprised how many kids don’t deal with real eggs. It was so much fun to boil the eggs and then colour them. My mom would place them on a plate, after we found them of course, and we would all have eggs for breakfast. We never had plastic eggs.

Divers and Sundry said...

Easter practices have changed a lot since I was a child. We used plastic grass and plastic eggs, but we re-used them for decades and never bought new. Our throw-away culture is as much the problem as the plastic imo :(

pearshapedcrafting said...

Love your collages - I think 'Running in Circles' appeals most because that was what I seemed to to for most of March!! I so agree about the waste in packaging and not just for Easter eggs - and a lot of plastics here still can't all be recycled in certain areas!! Hugs, Chrisx Ps I hope you had a lovely Easter!xx

Jeanie said...

A fun post but you are so right about the plastic (and packaging in general, I might add). Even cardboard boxes take up too much room in the cupboards!

I love the Kickapoo piece! And many others!

sheila 77 said...

Hello Elizabeth (and B & S).
I came in search of your Monday collages and thought for a moment I had missed them. Thankfully not.
"Written from the heart" has something of the mystique about it.
No idea what "Kickapoo and Tyler, too" is about, therefore I like it.
Oh and scrolling backwards I love the metallicness of "That layered look".
And "Running in Circles" is really fun and happy.
I'll just say I like them all very much, how amazing that they are such a small size.

Incipient Wings said...

We don't really celebrate this holiday. Helena got a small plush llama, and a candy bar:)
love your napkin wrapped eggs so much!