The International Plastic Quilt Project
and Student-Led Solutions to Plastic Pollution
Education - Collection - Creation - Outcome (ECCO)
If you are a teacher, after school instructor, or lead a group in any capacity, chances are, you can reduce plastic waste. With the help of a few volunteers and partners, we will help prevent increasing amounts of plastic pollution, protecting ourselves and our Earth from its known and unknown detrimental effects, while creating positive alternatives to single-use plastic in our community.
What is involved?
Our main goal is to create a program that takes no effort on the part of teachers and administration and uses your school’s built-in time resources. There are four general aspects to the project:
All students learn about plastic pollution, through an assembly, class presentations or video production. They learn critical thinking skills and are empowered to create positive change.
A core group of students, which can be a green team or other interested students, organize a collection of plastic over a time period from their homes, school or community. NOTE: The Collection step may be more powerful if done before the Education step so students can draw their own conclusions about why we are bringing this project to them.
To introduce students to the artistic design process, a quilt square is designed by students before it is assembled. The design is inspired by the object a student or group of students wants to work on eliminating from their waste stream. Selected students assemble the artwork.
Your school begins to make progress as a place where students are addressing plastic pollution at the school, homes and communities. Our Online Quilt shows the progress students, including yours, are making. Imagine a digital Portland quilt, a Seattle Quilt, etc:
-Click on the quilt square to read the story and see pictures of how students reduced waste.
-Our website tallies the total amount of plastic kept from the waste stream vs a goal amount of plastic they are aiming to keep from the waste stream.
-Each square “story” contains a challenge/inspiration/multiplier effect, i.e. “If ten more schools did X we could eliminate Y plastic from the waste stream!”
How can my school get started?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an initial consultation to discover opportunities to carry out the project at your school. Depending on resources, we may be able to work with your school directly or collaborate in other ways! Our general timeline is to develop and strengthen relationships with sites January thru May and implement programming and projects in the Fall of the same year.
CELEBRATE AND SHARE
In December, 2013 all participants of our pilot project in Northeast Portland will be invited to share their progress and display artwork. We will tally the plastic we have reduced collectively, have a celebration for all involved, and put our heads together for even more solutions in 2014.
We are seeking volunteers to help run the programming. It would require a once a week commitment for about 2 hours at one of the sites. Faubion programming will begin on Wednesdays after September 30th. Alameda’s programming has yet to be scheduled. Please email Kirra Hughes, the Field Coordinator, at email@example.com or call 407 619 6189.
For more in-depth study:
Bibliography of Quilt History Books for K-8 (PDF) Help students to understand how quilting plays such an important part in creating positive change!
8-9 Course Teaching Module Starter (PDF) NOTE: This needs the Kit below)
Module Resources (10 MB ZIP folder–goes with Teaching Module above). Please email cheryl[at]createplenty.org if you wish to be officially included in the May 2012 exhibit in Portland, Oregon. You will need to fill out and return the Volunteer Memorandum included in this folder. Thanks!
Informational online videos:
Elizabeth Royte, Garbageland: On the Secret Trail of Trash and Bottlemania
Heather Rogers, Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Trash
Gay Hawkins, The Ethics of Waste
View International Plastic Quilt Project Map in a larger map