Last year, Carrie Ziegler with Thurston County Solid Waste Program developed a unique educational project about the waste concerns of plastic. Carrie worked with students all over Thurston County to create a life size whale out of plastic bags. The whale was featured in the Procession of the Species parade at Olympia’s Arts Walk where it created quite a splash! Shortly after that, Thurston County approved the ban on plastic bags. The students who helped create that whale were able to directly relate their efforts to a broad community initiative.
Now, Carrie has joined forces with Jennifer Johnson of Thurston County’s Environmental Health Division to coordinate another piece of educational community art for Olympia’s 2014 Spring Arts Walk. The project is called, “Rise Above Plastics: The Butterfly Effect.” The name of the project comes from the Butterfly Effect theory - that a small change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.
Carrie and Jennifer have presented to over 600 Thurston County students about the waste and health concerns of plastics. Students made butterflies with repurposed plastic juice pouches. The presentations emphasize individual actions that create a butterfly effect of positive change in the world. Students learn about important choices such as using glass or stainless steel water bottles, taking re-usable bags shopping, and never heating food or storing hot food in plastic containers.
The unique, youth-designed, hanging art installation will be featured at the newly renovated Washington Center for the Performing Arts at Olympia’s 2014 Spring Arts Walk on April 25-26. It can be viewed there through June 2014.