Category: Uncategorized

Turn your plastic waste into Eco-Bricks!

ECO-BRICKS: ThE “WHY” AND THE “HOW” 

Did you know that only 9% of plastics created ever get recycled? Statistics abound on the overwhelming amount of plastic pollution across the globe – and how that same waste is negatively affecting the environment. But in addition to cutting down on your personal plastic use and supporting businesses that are #plasticfree, what else can YOU do to help solve this problem? 

At RuckusRoots, we’re big on bridging the gap between sustainability and creativity. It’s what we do best! We took on the plastic problem in Los Angeles with our most recent Wild Art program by repurposing plastic bags into paintable canvases with elementary students, but here’s another fun way to creatively utilize your plastic waste – with virtually infinite possibilities! 

“Eco-bricks” are, in essence, just plastic bottles filled with all types of plastic waste we can’t recycle (of which there are many!) By turning your bottles and soft plastics into eco-bricks, you’ll be 1) taking waste out of landfills 2) creating with what you already have and 3) keeping plastics away from harming wildlife! Eco-bricks can be used to build all sorts of things like benches, walls, stools, etc., Just think of them like stackable legos! Check out this great link with examples of eco-brick projects if you need inspiration. 

Now on to the tutorial…

SUPPLIES:

  • plastic bottles
  • pressing rod (wooden spoon or chopsticks)
  • scissors 
  • table or working surface
  • soft plastic waste (see suggested list below)

DIRECTIONS:

✔️ Gather your materials and cut up plastic waste into strips if you prefer (makes for easier stuffing!)

✔️ Press plastic scraps into the bottle and compress as you go with your pressing rod.

✔️ Fill the bottle as tightly as you can – the more compact, the better!

✔️ Choose how you’d like to utilize your eco-brick(s). There are many places that collect eco-bricks for large projects, or you could start collecting your own stash of eco-bricks for a personal project!

HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF THE TYPES OF MATERIAL YOU CAN PUT IN YOUR BRICKS: 

  • fruit baskets 
  • laminated paper
  • photos
  • chip bags
  • candy wrappers
  • soy sauce packets
  • wax paper
  • dog food bags
  • any soft plastics that can be cleaned and dried!

Check out our IG Reels for a short demo on making these if you need more help. Don’t forget to tag us in your DIYs – we’d love to see what you build with your eco-bricks! 

Eco-ARTivity Project for March!

Plastic Bottle Planters

Here’s what you’ll need to make this super easy and eco-friendly planter at home: 

  • plastic bottles
  • acrylic paint
  • paintbrush
  • utility knife or scissors
  • glue
  • googly eyes/feathers/any other decorations you choose
  • plants or seeds to sprout
  • soil

DIRECTIONS:

✔️Start by cutting an empty bottle in half, or about 1/3 of the way from the bottom. Parents: you might need to help your little ones with this! 

✔️Grab some paint and brush on a few layers to make sure your plastic bottle is fully coated. Let each coat fully dry between layers. 

✔️Add googly eyes, feathers, or anything else you’d like to add to your planter with glue. Let it dry. 

✔️Once the paint is completely dry, carefully add soil to your new planter and plant your seedling! Add some water – careful not to flood the planter. 

✔️Place your planter somewhere sunny, watch your plant grow – and know you helped to give a second life to a piece of plastic! 

Check out our IG Reels for a full demo on making these little guys if you need more help! And tag us in your DIYs – we’d love to see what you upcycle!

 

 

Onwards and upwards, 2021!

We just want to take a moment to reflect on the past year, in all of its challenging, chaotic, and confusing lessons and glory. We’ve learned a lot, had some moments of doubt, ultimately pulled through and finished the year on a strong and promising note! That said – we won’t be sad to see 2020 fade into the past and we are overjoyed to ring in 2021 and all that it holds for RuckusRoots and the world at large! 

From pivoting in the face of the pandemic to provide online programming to folks across the globe, to looking deeply at our organization and making internal changes to better reflect our core values and mission – we did a lot to be proud of this year.

✔️We expanded our digital offerings to include live, on-demand, and fully downloadable content.

✔️We wrapped up a Wild Art in-school program and successfully installed its culminating project – a mural with over 2,000 repurposed plastic bags on campus.

✔️We filmed our first-ever TV series with Hawthorne Community Television. 

✔️We delivered more than 60 bags stocked with sustainable art supplies to families in need this summer and provided online art workshops to accompany these free supplies.

✔️We worked hard to support, employ and learn from artists of color all over the world and give these underrepresented and valuable voices a platform through our channels.

We’re certainly pleased to welcome a new year – don’t get us wrong. There’s A LOT we want to leave behind in 2020. But as always, we are so blessed by all of the support we received this year, and are able to go into 2021 feeling both inspired and awed by the resilience and innovation of the Angelenos we meet through our work this year. Onwards and upwards, as we like to say! 

Here’s to a new year of empowering communities, deepening connections and making sustainable creative experiences accessible to all! 

Welcome, 2021!

Wild Art Update: 2020 Program Complete!

We ran our third successful Wild Art program this year, and finally wrapped up the final piece (mural installation) early last week! This 2020 program was such a labor of love, and a true lesson in perseverance, as our in-person programming with the students was JUST approaching completion as the coronavirus pandemic hit Los Angeles. We are immensely pleased to share with you now that this program has wrapped up, and show off our latest collaboration with some very creative and talented elementary school students!

By combining visual arts skills with sustainability and wildlife education, Wild Art provides young artists with a platform to creatively express themselves, connect to nature in L.A and to take an active role in their community. By providing students with a comprehensive introduction to local wildlife and conservation issues, this unique program is the first step in helping form engaged, creative citizens and stewards of the environment.

The 4th graders at Eucalyptus Elementary School began working with artist mentors, Julio Muñoz to learn artistic skills such as color theory, composition and still life drawing. They also received education from wildlife expert and biologist Miguel Ordeñana of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, who taught students about the vast array of wildlife living in Los Angeles, and how their actions can help protect it. The students then combined these lessons by creating their own wildlife-inspired artwork on a sustainable substrate – a canvas made of fused plastic bags. These student-made canvases recycled nearly 2,000 plastic bags, thereby keeping these harmful plastics out of the local environment/landfills. Additionally, each student artwork is an homage to one of four threatened local species; the Steelhead trout, the Monarch butterfly, the Peregrine falcon and the Mountain Lion – conservation in action!

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We would like to extend a hearty “thank-you” to the 4th-grade teachers, staff, and administration at Eucalyptus Elementary School. We deeply appreciate your patience, cooperation, and dedication to seeing this project to completion in the midst of a very challenging year! This program was funded in part by the California Arts Council and the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture. 

The video below was made for the 5th graders at Eucalyptus Elementary School in Hawthorne, CA who participated in our 2020 Wild Art program last spring. We completed the in-school portion of the program right before the coronavirus pandemic began and as of the publication of this post, these students aren’t back on campus yet. Nonetheless, we just finished installing a mural featuring their work in the school cafeteria – with nearly 200 animals made from over 2,000 recycled plastic bags! Since we can’t meet in person due to COVID 19, the program’s teaching artists put this video together to remind students of lessons from Wild Art and show them how much their hard work paid off! We hope these young artists can be back in school and see their lovely work installed on campus very soon!

 

 

 

 

 

Through Lines Program Exhibition is LIVE!

THROUGH LINES: MUJERES APROVECHANDO EL MÁXIMO
We did it! Our fall program, Through Lines, was a great success! Combining efforts to fight food waste and single-use plastics, we worked with underrepresented community members in South L.A to make one-of-a kind artworks and come together in a virtual creative space. 
 

This collaboration with our partner organization, FEAST, was offered as a series of free, online “family crafting classes” to their constituents by East L.A-based artist, Teresa Flores. Program participants learned to repurpose plastic waste from food packaging through a variety of creative techniques, such as weaving and sculpture. They then explored their own ideas, processes and materials to create unique and personal works of meaning. It was so amazing to see what this group came up with week after week!

 

After six weeks of workshops and idea exchange, we held our very first virtual (and bilingual) art exhibition to share the culmination of our work together! We had a wonderful time listening to our group of program participants share about their work and the process of learning to work with everyday objects and recycled materials. 

If you missed the LIVE OPENING EXHIBITION, you can still see the virtual exhibit from the comfort of your own couch (stay home – be safe!). Don’t miss it – it’s a wonderful and inspiring collection of work! ♻️❤️🌟

Special thanks to the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs for their support and funding of this community art project.