Spring to the Tap at the Enumclaw School District Art Show

from the board--

On May 2, Spring to the Tap's board members all happened to attend the Enumclaw School District Art Show.  Well, not exactly happened to.  For one thing, we knew Austin had photographs in the show (and weren't surprised that he won yet another first place).  For another, we wanted to see the sculpture made of discarded water bottles that the local National Art Honor Society was displaying.  And thirdly, in coordination with this sculpture, designed and created for awareness of water and plastics issues, STTT was invited to present an exhibit which included our display board, flyers, and new t-shirt. 

The sculpture done by the art students was made up of plastic bottles suspended on a framed pavilion-like structure.   Each bottle had a message inside:  No plastic in the ocean.  Please collect our bottles.  Can't return these.   Dear Company--please recycle bottles.    Water fountain access for everyone.  (As The Police said way back when, "Hope someone gets my message in a bottle....I'm sending out an SOS....").  (We hope, too!)

The message went out in other forms as well.  Several acrylic paintings in the show focused on pollution in the oceans:  Mikayla Martin's It's in Our Hands and Polluted Paradise, Angie Main's How Will You Survive? and Anna Joga's Look What We've Done.
Some students openly expressed their concern about widespread use of bottled water at school.  "With the drought situation in California, why in the cafeteria here are we served water bottled in California by Nestle?"  In the Commons, vending machines offer both Coca-Cola and Dasani.  "And if we're going to drink from all these plastic bottles, couldn't we at least recycle them?"   We saw bottles being dropped into the bins.
 "See, it's going into the trash!"
"That must be the recycle bin."
"No, it's the trash."
"It must say Recycle on the other side."
"No, it doesn't." 
It didn't.

Trashing bottles is not district-wide, though.  A mom we met talked about the exemplary recycling efforts at Black Diamond Elementary, earning students an Earth Heroes award a few years ago.  We're hoping to find that their efforts have inspired other schools in the district to adopt more environmentally-friendly policies.

Another positive note:  three new drinking fountains have been installed at the high school that count the bottle-free drinks they produce, and display up-to-the minute stats for that fountain with a read-out:  "Helped eliminate waste from 6151 plastic bottles".  (That's a start on reducing the 35 billion bottles that Americans throw away each year!)

It was encouraging to us as STTT board members to meet the young people who are concerned about the issues and are using their talents to address them.  Thanks, Enumclaw National Art Honor Society, for your interest and advocacy, and for making this connection to Spring to the Tap. 

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