Destinations Magazine

Disposable Art

By Jugglingtam

I’m a lagging a bit on the writing recently… to be honest, I’ve been happily enjoying a rather calm existence the last few weeks, free of craziness and focused on matters both personal and of the heart. Stay tuned, as I’m hopping a train for a little jaunt next weekend into the wild unknown… otherwise known as Enoshima :)

If anything, I have found one more reason to display my pride for my Environment students: disposable art. I decided long ago that the topic of disposable chopsticks and plastic bottles was the issue to discuss. Since living in Japanland for over three years, I have  become increasingly alarmed at the amount of neglect centered around these indispensable things of waste. After all, one gets tired of rejecting the need for 4 plastic bags at the convenience store: one for hot things, one for cold things, one for room temperature things, and one just to piss you off, I’m sure. And one also gets a little annoyed at their own university for having wooden chopsticks as an option even, whereas clean plastic ones are chillin’ there ready to be reused for decades. Of course, of more importance than annoyance, are the environmental and human health effects of disposing such things. I ain’t gonna go into lecture mode or anything (I’ve been in that since early April) but let’s just say it involves carcinogens, rats and cockroaches, oodles of oil, dumping in foreign countries, deforestation, and marketing ploys. If you’re that keen on knowing, I recommend a friendly Google search or a tipsy debate with yours truly.

So for their unit project, I decided on disposable art as an awareness campaign on its own accord. Drawing inspiration from websites such as this and this and recent art such as this…

Disposable Art
(Made out of plastic bottles for Rio de Janeiro’s
Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development)

… my students worked hard for a few weeks, collecting used chopsticks and bottle caps from our university, laboriously cleaning them, drying them, and assembling them into imaginative dreams. Their collective effort culminated into an interesting display of mosaic and mod art, a tower, a game, and a boat… with one project using around 1,000 caps! It’s been great to see students examining the art, taking time to read the facts my students wrote about and hopefully reflecting on their own usage of chopsticks and water bottles. Proud teacher moment #15,000

:)

Disposable Art
Disposable Art
Disposable Art
Disposable Art
Disposable Art

Disposable Art
Disposable Art
Disposable Art
Disposable Art
Disposable Art



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