Plastic Bag Art

Intentions of helping the oceans are not enough. Apparently, writing or reading a blog is not enough either; actions are needed.

Using Cloth Grocery Bag Hint #11

My last post on using cloth grocery bags did help me a bit by leading to an actual inventory of our cloth bags. That one action led to my husband’s realization that putting our shopping list IN one of the bags meant we couldn’t get far in the store without them. It worked on our first test run, but we know it’s still far from a smoothed out habit like brushing your teeth.

So here’s one more way to train your cloth grocery bag habit:      

#11. Put your shopping list IN the bag.

Creating with Plastic Bags

Okay, so once we stop shopping with plastic bags, what do we do with the ones left over? Well, of course, we use them creatively!

Commercial and Craft

There are many products out there commercially made from bags and water bottles .  And there are more ideas for crafting useful objects; Pinterest  and Etsy have many options with totes, handbags and wallets leading the parade.

Making Plastic Bag Art

Artists working  to protect the environment are doing some of the most creative plastic bag art.  Carrie Ziegler is one who used her art skills to design a 35-foot whale using 9000 plastic bags.  Her work is awesome.

The art rings true in its scale, dwarfing humans like real whales do. It rings true in its ecology, both using the plastic that harms whales and including a beautiful depiction of  the Great Pacific garbage gyre on one side of the whale. This garbage patch is from 270,000 to 5,800,000 square miles wide (twice the size of Texas).

On the other side she includes the scientifically correct anatomy of the whale’s skeleton, emphasizing the need to understand how the biology and physics of the ocean actually work. It is made from the #1 non-recyclable substance: Styrofoam.

She used her teaching and communication skills to inspire school kids to create it and her management skills to coordinate the whale’s appearance in many local festivals.

Finally, the whole project is online including a 8 1/2 minute video to introduce you to the details and contact information so you can invite the whale to your hometown whale parade.

Now, that’s how to get full use out of a last-gasp plastic bag!

Photo Credits: Laura Killian, Susan Berta, Howard Garrett, John Calambokidis, Maureen Hill, Colleen Minion