Welcome to the blog of the course and textbook Facing up to global warming: What is going on and what you can do about it. This course is run by Professor Nick Gray of the Trinity Centre for the Environment at Trinity College Dublin.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Recycled Art

The other day, while heavily procrastinating in order to avoid learning about Newton’s Laws of Physics, I came across an image when perusing my Instagram feed that grabbed my attention. The image was created by an artist known as Erika Iris Simmons who specialises in creating art using non-traditional media. This particular piece of art was a portrait of Michael Jackson and was produced using the inside reels of a cassette tape. I was honestly astounded by how recognisable and precise it was but the fact that it was made from such an accessible household item is really what got me thinking.

I proceeded to Google search ‘Recycled Art’ and was, again, blown away by what I found. More masterpieces including a chicken made from egg shells, a collage of a young boy made from newspaper clippings and even a portrait of Barack Obama made from old buttons and brooches greeted my laptop screen. Now don’t get me wrong, I know what you might be thinking. But I can assure you that I am not some kind of an art junkie who finds beauty in everything. The fact I am saying that this type of art is cool is definitely saying something! So, with further examination of the different sources of Recycled Art on the internet, I discovered an article on its benefits which again sparked my interest. I had not realised there were any benefits until I read this article which is my reason for sharing it in this blog post. I feel more people need to become aware of this amazing form of art that has been revealed to me and I’m going to try and expose it to you too while you’re here!

Anyway, in this article outlining the benefits, they talked about how using household items in art is not only
a fun thing to do but it also reduces your energy consumption. So let me ask you this: when you throw something into the bin, do you think about where it’s going? All waste must go somewhere; be it a landfill, incineration centre or a recycling centre. Classic recycling may be better than all waste being dumped into a landfill but that doesn’t mean it has a positive effect on the environment. It still consumes not only space but also man power and money. These types of artwork take all the non-toxic junk and make useful items out of them which gives something back to both the environment and the economy.

But, the prime benefit we can acquire from this is that it saves a lot of energy. The re-production of recycled materials always requires consumption of new resources which in turn, results in more pollution and less resources. By adopting this strategy of reusing household junk, we are minimizing the energy spent on new production which directly impacts positively on climate change.

So, if you’re in any way artistic (or even if you’re not!), why not try dabbling your hand in Recycled Art? It’s fun, unique and most importantly, eco-friendly. I’ll make sure to share a new blog post with you guys showing my attempts. Don’t hesitate to share yours in the comments below. ‘Til next time, happy sustainable living!

Aoife Mullally

Image Sources:
Image 1: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/recycled-art-masterpiece-made-from-junks/
Image 2: http://www.wikihow.com/Live-a-More-Environmentally-Friendly-Lifestyle
Image 3: http://www.corvallisadvocate.com/2013/0131-corvallis-landfill-filling-up/

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