Plastic Bag Kaleidoscope Rugs

Each month Earth to Philly will feature a Dumpster Diver Dispatch, a series of stories and perspectives from Philadelphia’s original “green” community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You’ll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out. October’s entry is written by diver Sally Willowbee, about whom you can find out more at the end of t fake rolex his article.

Margaret Giancola could have been the poster woman of the recycling movement, of the movement to wake up and think about our culture legacy. The hundreds of rugs she crocheted from ordinary plastic bags and tablecloths, and mostly gave away to friends and family, were her legacy to future generations. They will last forever, they won fade, they won shrink, and they won slip!

Margaret was 78 years old, full of spunk with a sparkle in her eye and a positive outlook on life, when I first met her at her home in Collingswood NJ. She had started crocheting rugs years before, when she worked as a health care provider for a woman whose medical condition brought in large quantities of plastic bags. She began with the idea of making place mats; but instead, she decided to crochet a rug much like the rugs she had made from rags and old silk stockings during the depression. Although she had plans to continue crocheting her colorful plastic bag rugs until she was at least 120 years old, she didn quite make it and passed on a few years ago in her late 80s.

Like the day I first met her, most days you could find Margaret squeezed into the center of her living room couch; dwarfed by clear plastic bags full of colorful balls piled high around her. This was her work place. Her finished and unfinished rugs, large and small, new and used, crowded her living room floor and other surfaces. TV blaring in the background, Margaret spent much of her days and sometimes her nights cutting long inch wide strips from plastic bags; rolling the strips into balls (just like balls of yarn) and filing them according to color in their designated storage bag. This was her raw material and her palette from which she chose her colors to crochet her kaleidoscope rugs.

An artist of color, Margaret paints were the many colors of plastic bags and plastic tablecloths; sometimes bright, sometimes fake rolex muted, sometimes with random splashes of abstract color produced by a store name and logo. Margaret crocheted the story and history of our material culture and consumerism into her rugs. The story is told by the single crocheted row of K Mart bags no longer available, by Shop Rite new bags providing an abundance of yellow, and accented by designer bags in shades of lavender, purple and pink and the bright rainbow colors of throwaway tablecloths.

Margaret was a connoisseur of plastic bags. Some bags didn crochet well; some were too thick, some too thin, and some too stretchy. These were the ones she used to put out her trash. Dressed in her sensible shoes and clothes, she collected her art materials on her walks around town. The neighbors’ trash, donations from family and friends and the recycling bin at the local grocery store were Margaret sources of bags.

Margaret reused those otherwise thrown away plastic bags and plastic tablecloths and gave them a new meaning and a new life, and ironically, a valued permanence and usefulness. By recycling them, she interrupted the usual route from store to home to landfill where their non degradable permanence will produce a light far into the future. Margaret crocheted a warning of the fate of our environment. We look at the “green” aspects of your home, business, food, transportation, style, policy, gadgets and artwork.

Look for Jenice Armstrong to supply tips on green living as well as occasional columns on the subject of Green. She also blogs at Hey Jen.

Becky Batcha stays tuned for the here and now practical side of conservation, alternative energy, organic foods, etc. stuff you can do at home now. Plus odds and ends.

Laurie Conrad recycles from her ever growing e mailbag to pass along the latest travel deals, fashion statements, household strategies, gadgets, cool local events and other nuggets of interest to those who appreciate a clean, green world.

Vance Lehmkuhl looks at topics like eco conscious eating, public transportation and fuel efficient driving from his perspective as a vegetarian, a daily SEPTA bus rider and a hybrid driver, as well as noting the occasional wacky trend or product. Contact Vance with your ‘green’ news.

Ronnie Polaneczky sees the green movement through the eyes of her 12 year old daughter, who calls her on every scrap of paper or glass bottle that Ronnie neglects to toss into the house recycling bins. Ronnie will blog about new or unexpected ways to go green. She also blogs at So, What Happened Was.

Sandra Shea and the DN editorial board opine on any green related legislation or policy. And we’ll pass along some of the opeds on the subject that people send us.

Jonathan Takiff will be blogging mainly about consumer electronics those things that we love to use and that suck too much energy. He’ll spotlight green conscious gizmos made in a responsible fashion, both in terms of materials used and the energy it takes to run them.

Signe Wilkinson draws the comic strip Family Tree, which follows the Tree family as they try to live green in the face of nattering neighbors, plastic wrapped consumer products, and the primal teenage urge to spend vast quantities of money on hair care products of dubious organic quality.

In addition to the fake rolex se updates from our newsroom bloggers, watch for an occasional feature, Dumpster Diver Dispatches, from Philadelphia’s original “green” community of artists, the Dumpster Divers. You’ll learn about creative ways to reuse and recycle while you reduce, and about the artists who are making little masterpieces from what others throw out fake rolex .

Plastic bag in Portland raptor nest causes concern

on Friday afternoon, a red tailed hawk pecked and pulled at a white plastic grocery bag in its nest.

It’s one of the best known nests in the West, since it has a 24 hour web camera pointed at it as it rests several stories up on the side of a Portland office building.

“If you watch Raptor Cam for any amount of time you see she’s moving it around, re arranging it. In fact there’s a ton of garbage in that nest, said Sallinger. “When you get up close, you find out there’s’ all kinds of stuff in there,” he said.

But a plastic bag? Wo fake rolex n’t it smother the chicks when they hatch? Won’t it collect water and keep them wet and cold?

Sallinger says probably not.

“She’s got to continue to rearrange her nest to keep her eggs safe,” said Sallinger. “If she sees water accumulating underneath them, for example, she’s going to make changes,” he said.

This is, after all, an urban family. A state lawmaker who wants t fake rolex o ban the plastic bags says its time to get them out.

“We have one camer fake rolex a on one bird nest and a bag shows up in there,” said Oregon State Senator Mark Haas. “So, do you think this is happening in other bird nests, in other fish ponds and on the beach? Yes it is,” Haas said.

Haas tried but failed to ban the bags during the last special session of the Oregon legislature. He promises to try again in 2011.

“Takes a thousand years for a plastic bag to decompose,” said Haas. “And I just think we can do better th fake rolex an that in Oregon. This is a state that should be leading the way,” Haas said.

In the meantime, the red tailed hawk family seems content with their urban furniture. One of the hawk parents sat on the plastic bag and the eggs all afternoon.

Plastic Bag House Could Be Answer For Haiti CBS Dallas

The island still hasn’t recovered from that disaster, but a local inventor has devised a revolutionary new type of house that will not only shelter those still homeless, it will protect them in the event of another catastrophe. And the amazing thing is, these houses are made almost entirely out of plastic grocery bags.

Sam Bloch, the Executive Director of Haiti Communitere, a relief and recovery organization that also promotes green or alternative technologies, was so intrigued by the idea, he flew from Haiti to North Texas. He wanted to see for himself the invention of Wylie resident Harvey Lacey. “This is a bunch of trash bags turned into a house,” says Bloch. “In Haiti, it one of the most plentiful reso fake rolex urces out there, and right now it either going into the ocean or getting burned and messing up the environment. Lacey calls his invention Ubuntu Blox. They’ fake rolex re lightweight compressed blocks filled with plastic shopping bags that are tied together with wire. “Everything is tied together with wire,” says Lacey. “No heat, everything is manual. No carbon footprint. It just cheap. Everybody says it too simple. Okay, it too simple. Th fake rolex at the way I work. how much would it cost to build such a house in Haiti? Bloch says he’s not sure, but the price is bound to be right. “I don’t know the exact price, but I’ve never come across anything this cheap, with all the different technologies out there. You know it free materials, everywhere you look free materials,” says Bloch.

But perhaps the best news is Ubuntu Blox house appears to be safe. Three days ago, the sample house passed a hurricane test facing 90 mph winds and four inches of rain. Today, it was at the National Testing Service facility in Plano to undergo a shake test of a 7.0 magnitude earthquake the same magnitude qu fake rolex ake that flattened much of Haiti in 2010.

The result? A little bit of fallen plaster, but the house remained sound something that impressed and excited Bloch. “Even in the worst earthquake, if this were to come down, you’re going to get hit in the head with a Styrofoam block instead of a concrete block,” says Bloch.

Lacey is traveling to Haiti on Wednesday to begin training 15 Haitians on the construction of the Ubuntu Blox houses. After the one month training, the hope is Haitians will be able to build their own houses and help others create theirs.