To be plastic-free #3

May 27, 2009 by

Words from the Episode Artists, before and after the plastic-free challenge~more will be posted as they come in! Come see the art on June 5, 6-8 p.m. at the RE:Vision Gallery at SCRAP, 2915 NE MLK in Portland, Oregon. There will be snacks, great art, a raffle of plastic-free action items and cutting edge conversation.

Dani Dennenberg

Participating in Episodes 4 and 5 were profound experiences for me and opportunities to challenge my personal limits to creativity. Collective art is especially inspiring and humbling and LNPB has such heart and soul.

For Episode 5, I envisioned continuing to bring attention to ecological issues while bringing deeper parts of myself to the work and I think I accomplished that. My biggest challenge was fine-tuning the mediums, simplifying and letting go of perfectionism. One of the things that inspired my piece was an eloquent description of petroleum from Thom Hartmann’s “Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight…” that the earth’s energy and its organisms’ lifeforces are fueled by sunlight in some form or another(fossil fuels being ancient sunlight). That struck me as a humbling way of looking at my choices as a consumer and after months of staring at the eyesoar of plastic that I had amassed, even with keen conscientiousness around my purchases, I feel an even greater a sense of grief over what is happening to our precious planet.

The title of my piece, “L’Chaim” is a Hebrew phrase meaning “to life.” It is symbolic of my renewed sense of responsibility to do better, to continue bringing light and creativity to the darkness.

Things that moved my art piece: speaking the truth, the strength of the human spirit, and the theme of doing things differently.

What it’s like to be plastic-free #2

May 26, 2009 by
Lhisa Reish
Pre-project statement: When I got to the crossroads in 1989, I chose my day job and I really haven’t looked back. I have made some art for friends, and some for money in those 20 years, but…. 
It’s been a long time since a context for me to “make art” has captured my imagination like LNPB has. It’s got Politix! It’s got Social Conscious! It’s got Subversion! It’s not going to cost me cent to make! And it doesn’t have to match ANYONE’s sofa! All that plus it provides a perfect foil to talk to people about what it REALLY means to be “Wasted in the US”. It will be a huge challenge for me to go completely plastic-free and I don’t expect to succeed.In fact I expect to fail. It will be a journey for me and I plan to make up for my shortcomings by pulling as many of my associates along for as much of the ride as they will. 
To that end (see paragraph above!) I intend to make my 12×12(s) into collage made from bits of all the millions of little stickers that I, my friends, family, and co-workers have been saving. From off our fruit rinds, our CD and DVD packages, that hitchhike along with our mail… all the little items that stick and say “NEW” that no one really notices until someone asks them to collect them for an art project about waste reduction.
Post-project statement: It is extremely difficult to not go silly when writing an artist’s statement about pieces you made using sharpies and stickers. My inner 6-year-old
is especially pleased with being trusted to use the exacto knife. But seriously,
I hope you find something here that makes you laugh.I hope something here makes you think. 
Mostly though-I hope you see something here that makes you want to get involved. Take on the plastic-free challenge! It could be your stuff up on these
walls next year! Being part of Episode 5 has been a lot of fun and a lot of work:
I’m very glad the art is out of my head and “on paper” where it belongs. 
As for waste reduction- that, of course, is ongoing. Once you begin to
reduce the unecessary and the convenient, there is still the unavoidable–
and it is there wherein lie the truly difficult changes– the changes we must
make not just as individuals, but as a culture. We are starting that here! 
A big THANKS to LNPB and another to my pals in the Community of Stickerhood.
A tip of the chiquita peel to you all! 

Words from the Episode Artists, before and after the plastic-free challenge~more will be posted as they come in! Come see the art on June 5, 6-8 p.m. at the RE:Vision Gallery at SCRAP, 2915 NE MLK in Portland, Oregon. There will be snacks, great art, a raffle and cutting edge conversation.

Lhisa Reish

Pre-project statement: When I got to the crossroads in 1989, I chose my day job and I really haven’t looked back. I have made some art for friends, and some for money in those 20 years, but…. 

It’s been a long time since a context for me to “make art” has captured my imagination like LNPB has. It’s got Politix! It’s got Social Conscious! It’s got Subversion! It’s not going to cost me cent to make! And it doesn’t have to match ANYONE’s sofa! All that plus it provides a perfect foil to talk to people about what it REALLY means to be “Wasted in the US”. It will be a huge challenge for me to go completely plastic-free and I don’t expect to succeed.In fact I expect to fail. It will be a journey for me and I plan to make up for my shortcomings by pulling as many of my associates along for as much of the ride as they will. 

To that end (see paragraph above!) I intend to make my 12×12(s) into collage made from bits of all the millions of little stickers that I, my friends, family, and co-workers have been saving. From off our fruit rinds, our CD and DVD packages, that hitchhike along with our mail… all the little items that stick and say “NEW” that no one really notices until someone asks them to collect them for an art project about waste reduction.

Post-project statement: It is extremely difficult to not go silly when writing an artist’s statement about pieces you made using sharpies and stickers. My inner 6-year-old is especially pleased with being trusted to use the exacto knife. But seriously,

I hope you find something here that makes you laugh.I hope something here makes you think. 

Mostly though-I hope you see something here that makes you want to get involved. Take on the plastic-free challenge! It could be your stuff up on these walls next year! Being part of Episode 5 has been a lot of fun and a lot of work:

I’m very glad the art is out of my head and “on paper” where it belongs. 

As for waste reduction- that, of course, is ongoing. Once you begin to reduce the unecessary and the convenient, there is still the unavoidable–and it is there wherein lie the truly difficult changes– the changes we must make not just as individuals, but as a culture. We are starting that here! 

A big THANKS to LNPB and another to my pals in the Community of Stickerhood.

A tip of the chiquita peel to you all!

Episode 5 Artist Speaks on Plastic-Free Experience

May 26, 2009 by

Words from the Episode Artists, before and after the plastic-free challenge~more will be posted as they come in! Come see the art on June 5, 6-8 p.m. at the RE:Vision Gallery at SCRAP, 2915 NE MLK in Portland, Oregon. There will be snacks, great art, a raffle and cutting edge conversation. Here is the Post-Project statement from Laurie Ewing:

Pre-project statement: My background is in the visual arts. I have worked with artists in galleries and frame shops for many years along with making my own art which has included B&W photography of ghost towns and other abandoned placed and more recent mixed media pieces. Deep core beliefs caused me to drastically alter the course of my life by going back to school majoring in Environmental Studies and Sociology. 

As I prepare to graduate I feel certain that I can integrate my past in the arts with a future addressing how civilization affects the environment. As an artist, my most recent work comprises layers of used materials adhered together. Pieces may contain old photos, notes, advertising, string, keys, and many other small treasures. They are often partially concealed, revealing aspects such as texture and shape; often something of a pattern occurs.

Along with graduation I am simultaneously preparing to move to Portland. Though I will miss my Eugene, I am excited for the opportunities that await me in my new home. I have been utilizing the internet to become familiar with the organizations I would like to become involved with. 

This project with LNPB combines just the elements I have described above. Though it will be difficult in terms of the distance, I feel that I can also act as an agent for spreading the message further. The piece or pieces I in envision creating for this project involve plastic bags and my sewing machine. I became aware of the magnitude of waste from plastic bags as well as the alternatives, while writing a proposal for a plan to implement a per bag fee for the city of Eugene as a final paper for a class. Part of my effort over the duration of this art project will be to find out how to take my plan, in the form of a student paper and submit it to the city as a genuine proposal.

Post Project statement: What an incredible journey the last three months of my life have been. For me the LNPB project feels like it has been a miserable failure. Interestingly, that is both what is bad and what is good about it. I realized that given my present lifestyle, as a full-time student and single-parent, I couldn’t reduce my plastic consumption much more than I already had. I asked myself why that was and I came to two separate conclusions. 

The first was simple, I had already been making efforts in that area by using reusable cups and bags, and limiting purchases that include wasteful packaging. The second was more illuminating, that alternatives to plastic containers and packaging are seldom made available. And, further, that there is limited access to bulk items that I could fill my own containers with. How did people get by before plastic packaging? All this reminded me that consumer sovereignty is one of the biggest jokes in capitalism. For each one of us, the choices we make as consumers are limited to the options that have been made available. 

Where I experienced the most success was at cleaning and saving most all the plastic that came through my possession. As a result my experience of plastic packaging is very different than it was before. Keeping it and seeing it accumulate is brilliant! Because I compost, recycle and seldom eat meat, I had almost no trash for the three months of this project. Otherwise stated, almost all the trash my daughter and I produce is non-recyclable plastic packaging. Non-recyclable where? Curbside. We found that we can actually take much of it where it can be recycled at the waste transfer station in Eugene and at another location in Portland. This begs the question why is this not available with home recycling service? 

Creating these little art pieces has been inspiring. My daughter and I sifted through all the materials and had lots of fun exploring the possibilities. The pieces I present here are what I imagined from the beginning; quilt squares of sorts, made from plastic, thread and a few treasures mixed in. It was interesting to use a sewing machine on plastic bags, a very different tactile experience. I chose to use dark red thread throughout the pieces for effect, red as a warning symbol. 

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this project. Thank you LNPB!

Press Release, Episode 5

May 25, 2009 by

Monday, May 11, 2009 


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 


Contact: Jessica Lyness | jessica.lyness@gmail.com | 503-913-3882



Environmental Art Group Leave No Plastic Behind
 Presents the Plastic Quilt Project

(Portland, OR). In 1985 the Peace Ribbon Project was started as a peace demonstration. Two years later the Aids Memorial Quilt took shape to remember loved ones lost to HIV/AIDS.  Over two decades later, in March 2009 Leave No Plastic Behind began the Plastic Quilt Project to represent the growing awareness of how plastic affects our ecosystems and bodies. Each 12”x12” square also represents people and families who actively seek alternatives to single-use plastic in their daily lives.

The “United: Plastic Quilt Project” exhibition begins on First Friday, June 5th with an artist reception (plastic-free with wine and food) from 6-8 p.m. Re:Vision Gallery at SCRAP, 2915 NE MLK Jr. Blvd, where Leave No Plastic Behind is now a tenant. The exhibition continues through Tuesday, June 30. Artist’s pre- and post-project statements will also be on display to give a sense of participants’ experience with the project. These can be viewed online at www.LNPB.org. With 18 artists launching the Plastic Quilt Project, many more will contribute in the future as the quilt travels to different places, involving more participants.

Artists take a three month long plastic-free challenge and plastic they do collect is considered a potential part of their final submission for the exhibit. In the past two years, 43 different artists from around the country have participated in an episode of LNPB, several artists have participated in two or more. 



LNPB presents art exhibits and creative events year round to raise awareness about the damaging effects of single use plastic and offers alternative suggestions on how to reduce and reuse. LNPB continues to be inspired by Captain Charles Moore and the Algalita Marine Research Foundation.

ARTISTS (Portland-based, unless otherwise noted)


Kristin Anton                        Kelly Bryan

Vicky DeKrey                        Dani Dennenberg

Laurie Ewing                        Dana Fenwick

Geri Jarvis                             Diane “Ruby Reusable” Kurzyna – Olympia, Washington

Lou Leelyn – Greenfield, Massachusetts

Cheryl Lohrmann               Melissa Porter                       

Lhisa Reish – Olympia, Washington

Mollie Royer                        Ashley Taylor

Jessica Wansart            Kristialyn Young

 

More information can be found at http://www.LNPB.org.


 Re:Vision Gallery at SCRAPis located on 2915 NE MLK Jr. Blvd, at Stanton.



”Think Ahead, Leave No Plastic Behind.”
# # #

Vs. verses (LNPB)

April 6, 2009 by

Having stumbled thru the pre-Episode 5 winter kickyerplastic addiction, and moved with seamless effort into stumbling thru Episode 5 realtime I have a collection of “either-or” questions to ask you Veterans of the Plastic–

Like…

Toilet paper: I like to buy the stuff made from recycled paper, BUT all of it comes wrapped in plastic. The few brands that come wrapped in paper are made of virgin pulp. So- who’s hiding the secret stash of recycled toilet paper wrapped in (recycled) paper and how can I get some too?

Cheese: all that comes wrapped in plastic too. Even from our Olympia Food Co-op. Now, I do like the fresh Mozi from the Farmer’s Market, but it’s got limited use. Great in a salad, lousy in a toasty. What’s a Cheddar head to do?

Moving on to another dairy product, Yogurt: anybody have luck making yogurt that doesn’t make you make a face? Before I shell out 50 clams for a yogurt maker, I’d like to know if it’s possible to get a smooth, congealed and notsodamn tart product.

What do y’all know about the composition of butcher paper? the kind you actually get from a meat counter with product in it. The guy at the counter said “it’s waxed” but it looks like a thin plastic film adfixed to the paper.  Anybody know what it really is?

Thanks in advance for any illumination you can bring. Not only do I ask for myself, but friends and co-workers ask me about these things as well. As you can see by the questions, all we think about is food!

I truly look forward to being involved with LNPB in this adventure and to meeting you who are other participants. Best of luck, Lhisa

“Want not to waste, waste not to want”

Paper vs. Plastic

March 12, 2009 by

Posted by Jessica W

Way to go Massachusetts for putting together an agreement to reduce a third of the plastic AND paper bags grocers distributed in the state (and way to go for getting the grocers on board—not always an easy task).   

As plastic slowly makes its way into mainstream news and dinner table discussion we’ve seen an array of solutions to the paper vs. plastic question (outlawing plastic bags [yay] but keeping paper, taxing plastic, taxing both, etc).  From these solutions has stemmed a debate over which is “better” paper or plastic and long lists of facts (each with its own scope and measure of environmental impact) are cited to defend or denounce both. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m glad this is the topic of discussion and I’m glad we are exploring solutions, but sometimes I think the debate gets us away from the real question at hand.  This question is not which disposable convenience is better or worse, but how do we retrain ourselves to not need either.  People have survived for hundreds of years without throwaway goods, how is it that in a relatively short period of time we’ve become so utterly dependent?   

What I’d like to be discussing then is how do we come up with productive plans to reshape our approach to bags?  Because no one can remember to bring a bag to the store every time, but that doesn’t mean that we need to have an arsenal of disposable ones just waiting for us to forget.  Do we start a drop-off bin where you donate extra bags when you remember, and borrow when you don’t?  What kind of health codes are we going to have to follow to make this happen?  These questions and more were discussed last September at City Hall during a Plastic Bag Forum attended by Mayor Sam Adams but since then there has been little forward movement.

Now we want to hear from you oh faithful and plentiful blog readers. What are your thoughts and creative solutions on the matter?

Don’t Cry for Me

March 5, 2009 by

posted by Cheryl

Dear friends, 

I feel an apology is in order. So many people who know me say that when they have a fall out with single-use plastic, they think of me. I don’t mean to be guilt inducing and would rather you not see MY disappointed face when you feel you have no choice. Maybe it’s the reason for all of my good fortune lately, but I’ve come up with ten things you can imagine instead. Whenever you use single-use plastic:

(these are mostly drawn from recent news about plastic)

1-another city decides life is better with the flimsy bag.

2-a plastic bag recycling outlet stops accepting the material. 

3-a large chain store with a green policy still carries plastic bags.

4-a little more chemical leaches into someone’s hot coffee.

5-some finds a bit of plastic in their chicken sandwich.

6-another 3.9 billion pounds of plastic go to waste in the U.S (happened in 2007)

7-another undesirable t-shirt is not turned into a reusable bag. 

8-a school chooses to purchase milk in plastic containers (In the 80’s I remember filling a cup, and having chocolate milk, too, not to bring the attention back to myself)

9-another food processor “improves” its packaging by changing to plastic.

10-yet another city decides not to ban plastic bags. Like, all the other kids are doing it, so it’s okay…

I hope this helps you to think more about yourself, than about me, when you give in to the ubiquity. After all, it’s really about all of us.

Channeling Andy Rooney, David Letterman, or somebody,

Cheryl

Grassroots aren’t Green

February 25, 2009 by

posted by Cheryl

Grassroots…they’re more of a brown color, eh? Green…there are many shades. Without the roots there’d be no green, though…without green, there’d be no roots. I cringe when I hear “green” used as the way to describe products that will save the environment, maybe because in high school English I learned that green was a gentle way to say “naive”. Those were formative years.

In case you’re wondering, it is a good day to be part of the plastic-free push. Six people inquired about the next LNPB episode in less hours. Thanks to CNRG, I believe that’s a new record I’d love to break tomorrow. We’re moving into our first physical address with an office space, with one of the most respected reuse centers in Portland, the School and Community Reuse Action Project, (a.k.a. S.C.R.A.P.). With a space we’re envisioning more programs and imagining more volunteers, perhaps a few paid positions are on the horizon. We’re talking about more workshops to help kids and adults see convenience through the telescope of sustainability and create art to inspire more art and less demand for this version of chemical dependence.  

I’m excited to have been invited to be part of an upcoming Mother Jones article. After I experienced my first magazine article “fact check” ever I thought about how many different directions this project has taken this group. Taking the good with the bad, I don’t feel burn out, but a constant, gentle prodding to keep going. I do a little bit every day. My advice: don’t depend on green. Take matters into your own hands. You just have to be willing to get your fingernails dirty.

We are specializing in the fun side of change-making. Finding people where they are and supporting them on their journey. The hands-on and particularly imaginative one. The rooty, earthy, gritty road.

Nope, I really don’t feel green, don’t really see much of it around me even and certainly don’t have much. I feel pretty rich, though.

Jessica L, Cheryl, Andrew and Jessica W after the music

Jessica L, Cheryl, Andrew and Jessica W after the music

Call for Artists – Episode 5 of LNPB!

February 10, 2009 by

Episode 5 – CALL FOR ARTISTS – Apply here by March 15, 2009

WHO: Artists, Performers, Filmmakers, Groups, Families, Community Leaders and political leaders interested in being active, making art, and creating change from the angle of plastic awareness! Videomakers and Musicians are welcome to contribute a square or offer up talents for a special event. Send your proposals!

WHERE: In Portland, Or, Olympia, WA, or Wherever You Are.

THEME: United

ENTRY FORM: Apply to cheryl.lohrmann@gmail.com  by March 15, 2009. We’ll email you a form.

HOW IT WORKS: The plastic-avoiding & art-creating happens between March and May 2009, with opening events beginning in June 2009. All artists are asked to create a 12 x 12″ piece which may initially be displayed separately, then added as part of a large quilt to travel around the city, country, world! See below for specifications.

All artist participants agree to live plastic-free for the same three-month time period. A plastic-free lifestyle challenges you to refrain from purchasing items that are packaged in any sort of single-use plastic, including: to-go coffee lids, plastic cups or cutlery, water, prepackaged foods, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, dish soap, laundry soap, utensils…

Any plastic accumulated must not be trashed or recycled curbside. During the course of these three months, artists make squares “inspired” by the collected plastics. Poetry, photography? Put it on the square! Paint it, draw on it, sculpt it (two dimensionally). 

Requirements: 

Each 12 x 12 piece must not weigh more than approximately one pound and must have a base of fabric, plastic, or other lightweight material that is approved by us. We’ll be connecting them all together at some point, so weight and attachability are crucial! You may make: more than one; several smaller squares as long as you connect them so they add up to 12×12″; more than one 12×12″ piece!

Please note: LNPB is more than an art opening! Our goal is to offer chances to take part in innovative projects toward plastic independence and all the good stuff that comes with it. Artist-participants are strongly encouraged to participate in these and/or volunteer and community building opportunities. Share what you know, learn what you don’t! Change things!

Leave No Plastic Behind 2009

January 13, 2009 by

Welcome to the new LNPB blog. The last one fell victim to a homemade website name change, but we don’t let things like that stop us! What’s up ahead for Leave No Plastic Behind in 2009:

• Two more episodes of Leave No Plastic Behind this year! One in June and one in November. We are inviting politicians in Salem, Oregon to take part as artists for the June show, Episode Five! Theme (tentative): “Unified”. Following in the footsteps of The Ribbon Project the AIDS Quilt and others, we are creating a large piece of art created out of many decorated squares made by you! Maybe we’ll even wrap a building or something huge like that…stay tuned.

• This year we will have our fiscal sponsorship in place, so we can do more with the graciousness of grants and supporters.

• Continue planning a community-owned business centered around the concept of zero waste and begin a documentary of our progress.

• Develop partnerships with Portland businesses, organizations, schools, galleries, street fairs, individuals and groups in an effort to unite the city in disallowing single-use plastic inside our borders. 

• Intrigued? We hope you will join us in some of our efforts.