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Saving the Earth

by Kelly Schiller, Community Relations VISTA

In light of Earth Day, I feel it is imperative to reflect on the ways that Theatre Action Project so creatively integrates environmental consciousness into our daily practices and programming.

We rely on donated supplies for most of our programming which inevitably enables TAP to maintain a light ecological footprint. In this state of receptivity, we can’t be picky and choosy. That’s when we thank the universe that we are artists; embracing the craft component of the notion arts and crafts.

I see the teaching artists come into the supply area daily and stand there with hands on hips, scratching heads, eyes glazed as the right brain begins storming. Aha! They start to grab here and there, above and below, collecting the oddest assortment of materials. I wonder, “What on Earth could they be creating this time?” Before I know it, a masterpiece is complete; created entirely out of salvaged materials.

Just the other day Lilly Hollingsworth, one of our Teaching Artists, came in to prepare for her class. I watched her transform a massive, worn, orange comforter into 15 ant costumes for her classes’ upcoming play. A blue beanie and yarn that was knotted beyond knitting use, which would have been tossed in the trash by many, was turned into a magnificent, wearable, lion’s mane. The ingenuity of the teaching artists to create the infinite from any material is inspiring, and so simple. Creative resourcefulness is something anyone can do. This is the beauty of what they teach to their students each and every day; empowering their students to embody the craft of being an artist.

We thank the many organizations and individuals who have so graciously donated materials to Theatre Action Project and for practicing re-use rather than contributing to the already full, unsustainable, and polluting landfill system.

15 ideas for re-using simple household items:

1. Reuse old plastic bags. There are 10 creative ways to reuse plastic bags here.

2. Reuse paper bags as school book covers, or be a little more creative with these ideas.

3. Reuse pens and art supplies by donating them to Theatre Action Project.

4. Reuse your old food scraps by composting them.

5. Reuse your used margarine and butter tubs by cleaning them and keeping them for leftovers (free Ziploc containers!).

6. Reuse the stuffing from old pillows and comforters into new items like puppets. Reuse the pillow covers for rags.

7. Reuse newspaper, interesting magazines, and other paper products by using them as wrapping paper.

8. Reuse your old paint by finding things to paint in your home, touch up, or donate it to Theatre Action Project.

9. Reuse your old toilet paper rolls.

10. Make a piece of artwork with your old metal cans.

11. Reuse Popsicle sticks with these ingenious, crafty ideas.

12. Even bicycle tires can be reused.

13. There are at least five ways you can reuse your old drinking straws.

14. There are some creative things you can do with old metal pie pan plates.

15. Reuse your old CDs and DVDs.
Ideas provided by Squidoo.

What are some items that you have created using recycled materials?

About creativeactionaustin

We are based in Austin, Texas and reach more than 16,000 young people every year through our unique blend of theatre and education programs.Our programs expose young people to critical social problems and offer opportunities for them to creatively think about how they can be a part of solutions to these problems. Creative Action is a unique blend of art and education – for us, the two are intertwined. We believe that using the arts as a teaching method provides a fun, engaging and inspiring way to learn – it incorporates the whole mind and body.

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