gARTbage Art Contest

Just before Covid-19 shut everything down, I had an opportunity to share a fun recycling themed session with my weekly home school science class on gARTbage Art.  The students played a timeline game with velcro pictures of trash to discuss “How Long Our Litter Lasts“, explored the sum of non-point source pollution on the watershed with an enviroscape stormwater model and then went out with boots to collect and identify flotsam at the Passaic River edge.  We brought the flotsam back inside to make a water bottle fish filled with litter bits and a background designed with miscellaneous litter used as paint brush tools.  The projects were going to be entered into the gARTbage Art Contest at the environmental center but it’s been postponed due to the virus.

Maybe gARTbage Art is something folks want to do with their kids while stuck at home.. sort through your trash and discuss how you could reduce it and make some art with what you find.

Eventually, we’ll add a positive “Green Choices” statement to each art piece and do our best to keep this project theme all about both Awareness and Action that makes a differences.

Make “Green Choices”

  • Choose a reusable bottle and reduce waste!
  • Ditch plastic bags, choose a cloth tote bag instead!
  • Make Black Gold! Compost food scraps to reduce approximately 2 of every 10 pieces of trash from going to the landfill.
  • Be Energy Smart! Choose LED bulbs to seriously reduce your electricity needs.
  • Slam dunk the junk! Unsubscribe from physical junk mail lists.
  • Say NO to disposable plastic cutlery, use reusable utensils!
  • Pack your lunch in a reusable container.
  • Avoid single use items as much as possible
  • Choose local seasonal produce and cut down on packaging!
  • Find second hand stuff! Save money and support charity shops.
  • Share and Borrow! Books, CD’s and DVDS can be borrowed from libraries and friends.
  • Avoid Styrofoam! It rarely gets recycled and lasts forever.


David Alexander is author of the Buzz Into Action & Hop Into Action Science Curricula.  He is passionate about making nature accessible to people and wildlife.  You can follow him at


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