Trash as a New Economy

Trash is my preferred medium and awareness art is the platform I use to get the all important message across, trash is a free commodity.

Take a good look at the above noted image. It is a 1950s metal coin dispenser. Someone threw it away because the metal had become tarnished with age. Ironically old dollar bills are shredded when they have reached the end of their lifespan. I combined the two with the hope this juxtaposition would strike a cord that now is the time for us to reevaluate the value of money.

Rethinking our future is what we all should be doing right now as the climate clock is ticking faster than ever.

Thankfully the circular economy model is finally gaining momentum as a potential way for our societies to increase prosperity, while reducing demands on finite raw materials. This transition requires a systemic approach, and one that entails moving beyond incremental improvements like carbon tax credits as well as developing new collaboration mechanisms.

For this we will need to explore further the intersection of two themes (plastics and plastic packaging in particular for this article). How can collaboration along the extended global plastic packaging production and after-use value chain, as well as with governments and NGOs, achieve systemic change to overcome stalemates in today’s plastics economy in order to move towards a more circular model?

To achieve drastically better economic and environmental outcomes we will need a new approach and a clever action plan to get us there. So how can we carry this timely agenda forward? In my humble estimation it will require after-use value chains to provide a plastic bag refund. If plastic bags have a value then people will stop throwing them on the ground. It will require more fashion industries to follow other sustainable trail blazing brands like Patagonia and Levis. Art Collectors can help do their part by purchasing art created by environmental artists, recycled artists and green artists like Olafur Eliasson and artists who create art installations out of trash like Gabriel Orozco and Quisqueya Henriquez.

I hope you will find this article informative and useful as we take the time to explore our collaborative commitment to better protect our planet.

We invite you to engage with us on this important opportunity, Trash as a New Economy.

Spread the word!

Trash as a New Economy! Click To Tweet

Zen and the Art of Recycling!

Coca Cola Can Motorcycle Maintenance can be a very Zen experience and just like the book, make us inquire and rethink the value of things. In this particular case the value of trash! Trash as a new economy is my mantra, and the platform I use to inspire people to pull themselves out of poverty.

Indeed, we live in a defining moment in history – a moment where we all must come together so we can resolve some of the today’s most daunting challenges.

Make no doubt that the rapid onset of Climate Change and COVID-19 are urgent indicators that now is the time to implement and escalate our efforts. All of us must walk the walk and practice what we have preached – changing our production and consumption patterns in order to create a more sustainable and circular based spending cycles rather than depletive ones.

All sectors of the economy must respond accordingly and quickly. Trash (which we have plenty of) as a new economy has tangible and substantial benefits. It is therefore very encouraging to see recycled art being supported by a diverse group of consumers, collectors and art fairs from across the globe. We all must strive for more innovative solutions that are grounded in sustainable revenue generation and out of the box systems’ thinking.

A game-changing mindset followed up with exacting support will be required so we can achieve the future we want and one that is anchored in living more sustainably.

I welcome artists to think bolder ideas, and more ambitious objectives. I Invite museum curators, art teachers, and collectors to show environmental artists more support. Please join me in celebrating and honoring todays environmental artists, awareness artists and reclaimed crafters, and our very first Climate Change Museum. Last but not least let us not forget hard working eco trail blazers like:

Boyan Slat’s

They are working hard to make a point, to stop polluting, to RECYCLE more, and are all making an important contribution to transforming this important concept, Trash as a New Economy.

Zen and the Art of Recycling! Click To Tweet

Beyond the Clouds of Nepal

Photographed by Jamyang Dorje

Nepal is an intoxicating country to say the least. At night you almost feel like you are on top of the world and can touch the stars with your outstretched hand.

With Tibet to the North and India to the South, Nepal is a land steeped with mysticism, forbidden kingdoms, beauty and charm.

While traveling by taxi to Kokhana which is located outside of Kathmandu, we passed a long winding line of about 70 school children waiting in the rain. The taxi driver explained these children were waiting to register for school and that they would be there throughout the night. I cringed at the thought and then marveled at their dogged determination and burning desire to receive an education. Education in general is highly respected and regarded throughout the country of Nepal.

During our travels we spent time visiting villages and conducting community outreach meetings where we performed vocational training with the locals. We covered topics like how to repurpose plastic garbage bags into plarn (plastic yarn) so they could make useful items they could sell and how to make Family Planning Cycle Beads. This calendar based necklace is an affordable solution for women of little means. Many of Nepal’s remote villages are poverty stricken. By repurposing garbage bags they are able to help address Nepal’s serious pollution problem and also have a means to earn a living. Sadly most of the women living in remote areas are illiterate. As such if they become widowed they are left penniless and unable to support themselves or their children. By showing these women how to repurpose trash which is available in abundance, they are able to earn a living and provide for themselves and their kids.

To the West nestled in between the majestic Annapurna mountains you will find the Pema Ts’al Sakya Monastery. It is located just outside of Pokhara near the famous Fishtail Lake. A fairytale setting where 50 young monks (or baby monks as I lovingly call them) and 45 college monks live and study. The life of a monk is not an easy one. They start their day at 5:00 am and prepare for their daily 6:00 am morning prayer session, or pujas as they call them. Their daily activities revolve around praying, learning, studying, debating, practicing the lama dance and performing community service. Their only day off is Sunday which is usually spent swimming and washing their robes in the beautiful setting of the Seti Gandaki River.

Most of the young monks at Pema Ts’al come from the extremely impoverished region of Mustang. Once or twice a year some of the monks return to this region to visit with their families and to perform community service. This coming October some of the young monks will be teaching local Mustangy’s the Bridging Humanity technique for getting a higher potatoe yield with the help of garbage bags. A simple cost effective solution that once again repurposes garbage bags and can be seen in the following video.

Stay tuned for more Bridging Humanity encounters from the land of the gods. A world bathed in a special atmosphere and enriching experiences from beyond the clouds of Nepal.

Beyond the Clouds of Nepal Click To Tweet