|'Shaker egg' made from cardboard egg carton cups and dry lentils. Photo by Bev Feldman|
Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 as a day to take action towards promoting positive environmental changes in human behavior and to provoke government policy change to benefit the environment. Since then, Earth Day has been embraced by many countries around the world and is celebrated annually in countless ways by people of all ages.
|'Wine cork boat' made from two wine corks, reclaimed yarn, a magazine clipping, and a pipe cleaner. Photo by Bev Feldman|
Members of Boston Handmade demonstrate environmental conservation and incorporate the concept of Earth Day every day as independent creative business owners producing and selling art and craft locally, and working from small studios, which reduces our own carbon footprint and that of our customers. Additionally, many Boston Handmade members keep the mindset of “reduce, reuse, recycle” as a driving force in our work through our choice of materials, and construction methods. Conserving resources is something we keep in the forefront of our minds, and harnessing the power of our own hands inspires us.
|Making 'Lap guitars' from shoe boxes and rubber bands, collaged with magazine clippings. Photo by Bev Feldman|
On Monday, April 22nd Boston Handmade held our first community Earth Day celebration. The event was free and open to the public and held at the Boston Public Library, Jamaica Plain branch in their large multipurpose room. The goal of this event was to encourage creativity with household debris and to create what I like to call "garbage toys". The idea is that if we can create art and craft with materials we save from garbage and recycling bins we can keep those items out of landfills and save the energy it takes to process garbage and recycling, and whatever materials we can reuse saves us money in purchasing new supplies, and all the steps we take like this to be more environmentally conscious, creates a cascade of positive benefits for the Earth. Plus, promoting this type of creativity has educational benefits for children and the development of their problem solving abilities, and making new stuff from old stuff is just darn fun!
|Pretend binoculars made from toilet paper rolls. A 'Rain stick' made from a paper towel roll, an accordion folded piece of cardboard inside of it and dried lentils as the rain. Jewelry made from cardboard egg carton cups and reclaimed yarn. Photo by Kerry Hawkins.|
|Zachary making a paper and cardboard tree for his cardboard caterpillar to eat. Photo by Jessica Burko.|
|5th graders from Nativity Prep School with artist Stephanie Putland in the foreground and artist Carol Johnson at the back table. Photo by Jessica Burko.|
|Three Earth Day event participants and the wonderful trees they made from cereal box cardboard, toilet paper rolls, reclaimed yarn, and a lot of imagination. Photo by Jessica Burko.|
|Earth Day banner photos by Jessica Burko.|
April 22nd was definitely a day to remember and one that we will surely repeat next Earth Day and hopefully for many years to come. We will also likely incorporate hands-on craft projects at other group events such as our annual Boston Handmade Marketplace in Union Square Somerville, scheduled this year on July 13th, and possibly at some of our winter holiday events as well. Stay tuned for all the details or join our email list to receive announcements of upcoming events delivered right to your in box. If you have ideas for art and craft projects to do with found or salvaged materials we'd love to hear about it! Please chime in with your comments and be sure to celebrate Earth Day every day with us!
|Cardboard caterpillar made from egg carton cups and pipe cleaner. Photo by Kerry Hawkins.|
|Boston Handmade Alumna Elephunk's Trunk making paper flowers with her son. Photo by Jessica Burko.|
|Decorative bowl made from the bottom of a plastic soda bottle and collaged with magazine clippings. Photo by Jessica Burko.|