EcoPazifico here I come

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I have been invited to participate in Ecopazifico! An interdisciplinary collective of people from all over the world who will come together in the Southwest of the Colombian Pacific coast to co-create with the community of this region an environmental education project based on art and creativity. 

The project takes place in the remote fishermen towns of Juanchacho, Ladrilleros and La Barra in Malaga Bay National park, where whales travel from September to December from the cold waters of Patagonia to raise their baby whale. Unfortunately like a big part of our planet the amounts of plastics is this region is a serious threat to the ecosystem and to these very special visitors.

My contribution in ecopazifico will be sharing with the community diverse techniques to reuse plastics creatively through art and the making of handicrafts. I also intend to promote the Vision Eco Bricks project where children, teachers and parents come together to make eco bricks to build green spaces in their community. I will be leaving soon and will spend a month in this grandiose social experiment!

To learn more about the project visit www.ecopazifico.org  and if you want to support this  initiative you can share the link in your social media networks and make a donation by clicking on this link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ecopazifico/x/70946

Hope to come back with some amazing stories, many new friends and having gained invaluable experience working in communities. Wish me luck!!!

Posted in Community, Endagered Wildlife, Plastic Bags, Plastic Pollution, Sustainability, Trash Art, Travels, What’s Up | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Vision Eco Bricks

Close your eyes and imagine the place where you live and the surroundings. Imagine that everything looks very clean. You can see no litter on the streets, parks, river or beaches. You observe instead beautiful green spaces, playgrounds and herb gardens. Families are also there enjoying themselves. Hold that vision and experience the feelings it brings you. Open your eyes. Now write your vision on your eco brick.

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There are villages in the northern Philippines who have done this visioning. There is no more dumping, burning or littering of plastics in the Mt. province region, where 270 schools started with the Visioning Eco Bricks project two years ago. After packing thousands of bricks they have made green space with the collaboration of students, families, teachers, principals and community leaders. The project has been acknowledged by the education authorities of the Philippines and will soon be spreading nation wide.

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Balili Elementary School recently completed building a pilot park, approximately 900 eco bricks where used. The students and teachers did 80% of the work (packing and construction). Parents, community leaders and shop owners did the rest. Ecobrick designer, Russell Maier, led the construction and lay out. The park is now being planted with fruit trees, vegetables and herbs– to serve as play, rest and food resource for the school. It also serves as a model to showcase the simplest, lowest-cost, Eco Brick construction methods for other schools.

 The Visioning Eco Brick Guide was developed over two years of extensive research and application with dozens, then hundreds of schools in the Northern Philippines. It can be downloaded for free from the ecobrick.org website. It is an invaluable tool for any community or schools that would like to start making and building with Eco Bricks. The guide presents the urgent environmental problem of Plastic pollution and the power of eco bricks to raise consciousness and to get people to take action. It is packed with information for teachers to incorporate this marvelous project into their curriculum, while also laying out all the essentials, pitfalls, and techniques of constructing with these blocks. Eco bricks allow inexpensive collaborations with students, parents and staff to almost zero-cost.

I am a true believer that making eco bricks is an excellent way we to segregate plastics into a container that will keep them from littering and contaminating the environment. These time capsules that can last up to 500 years (when covered from the sun) can be indefinitely reused. I also love that this project applies the power of visualization to manifest a safe, clean, beautiful world. With our imaginations and our bricks we can build our visions!

Eager to put the project into motion in Venezuela, I contacted Russell Maier and volunteered to translate the guide to Spanish. After 4 months of work I am happy to announce the release of the Spanish guide! From now on I will be working hard to materialize my vision which is written on the eco bricks I make:

“ Sustainable communities emerging, building green spaces, growing food and connecting, all through Venezuela, Latin America and the World!”

To download the guide in Spanish click on the image below:

Guia_Vision_ EcoLadrillo

Posted in Community, PET Bottles, Plastic Bags, Plastic Pollution, Waste Management, Working with Children | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Visión Ecoladrillos

Cierra los ojos. Imagínate el lugar donde vives y los alrededores. Todo se ve muy limpio, no ves basura tirada en las calles. Tampoco en los parques, los ríos o las playas. Miras a tu alrededor y ves jardines llenos de flores. Observas huertos comunitarios con hierbas comestibles y medicinales. Ves a familias compartiendo y disfrutando en esos espacios verdes. Mantén esta visión durante unos instantes, sintiendo las emociones que se generan en ti. Ahora abre los ojos y escribe tu visión en tu Ecoladrillo.

Russell Maier

 

En el norte de Filipinas hay comunidades que han realizado esta visualización. Prácticamente ya no se ve basura quemada ni regada por las calles. La cantidad de desechos que llegan a los vertederos se ha reducido drásticamente en Mt. Province, donde se comenzó el proyecto de Visión Eco Ladrillos hace 2 años en 270 escuelas. Luego de rellenar miles de eco ladrillos con sus plásticos han creado, con la colaboración de estudiantes, familias, personal de las escuelas y líderes comunitarios, hermosos espacios verdes para su comunidad. El proyecto ha recibido el reconocimiento de las autoridades educativas del país y pronto se ejecutará a escala nacional.

Recientemente la escuela de Balili terminó de construir un parque modelo donde se utilizaron aproximadamente 900 ladrillos. El diseñador y cerebro detrás del proyecto Visión Eco Ladrillo, Rusell Maeir, lideró la construcción y el diseño de esta iniciativa. El parque ahora tiene siembra de árboles frutales, vegetales y hierbas, así como áreas recreativas y de descanso. Además, es fuente de alimentos para la escuela y su comunidad. Este método de construcción simple y de muy bajo costo también sirve de modelo para otras escuelas.

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La guía Visión EcoLadrillos fue desarrollada luego de dos años de investigación extensiva en decenas y luego cientos de escuelas que participaron; y puede ser descargada gratuitamente de www.ecobricks.org/ecoladrillo/ Es una herramienta invaluable para cualquier comunidad o escuela que quiera comenzar a construir con ecoladrillos. Muestra claramente la urgencia del problema ambiental causado por la contaminación de plásticos y el poder que tienen estos ladrillos de crear conciencia para que las personas tomen acciones inmediatas. Además, ofrece información para que los docentes integren este maravilloso proyecto al currículo escolar; y a su vez explica lo esencial de la técnica de construcción con estos materiales.

Yo estoy convencida que hacer ecoladrillos es una excelente manera de separar los plásticos y de mantenerlos en un lugar seguro, que no solo reduce la contaminación visual de nuestro ambiente sino que protege a la tierra, las aguas y el aire, así como a miles de especies, de este mal. Los ecoladrillos son cápsulas de tiempo que pueden durar hasta 500 años si no les pega la luz solar y que pudiesen ser reutilizados muchas veces. Otro aspecto que me fascina de este proyecto es que utiliza el poder de la mente para visualizar y luego manifestar un mundo seguro, limpio y hermoso para todos. Con nuestra imaginación y nuestros ladrillos podemos construir nuestra visión.

Tan convencida estoy del valor de este proyecto, y con ánimo de ponerlo en práctica en Venezuela, que contacté a Russell Maier y traduje la guía al español. Ahora soy colaboradora de este gran equipo de Ecobricks.org y mi intención es difundir este valioso proyecto y materializar mi visión, la cual está escrita en los eco ladrillos que estoy rellenando:

Niños y familias en Venezuela, Latinoamérica y el mundo conscientes, tomando acciones para proteger su ambiente, construyendo con sus residuos espacios verdes para descansar, producir comida y recrearse”.

Para descargar la Guía Visión EcoLadrillo hacer click en la imagen:

Guia_Vision_ EcoLadrillo

Posted in Actividades para hacer con niños, Español | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Taller Reciclarte en Caracas

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Estoy súper contenta de anunciar que estaré dictando unos clases de reciclaje creativo con plásticos, en la Casa de la Cultura Oswaldo Pérez Perazzo, en Caracas. Está ubicada en la calle Sucre en el casco de Baruta y el teléfono para mayor información es el 212 944 4011. Parte de mi felicidad se debe a que justamente es en este lugar donde me inicié en este camino de la reutilización creativa de plásticos . Hace 5 años decidí aprender a utilizar mis manos para crear con bolsas plásticas. Me inscribí en los talleres de tejido en telar, costura y bordado en cinta. Aprendí muchísimo, los talleres son extremadamente económicos y la calidad de los profesores es excelente. Otra buena noticia es que no tienes que ser residente del municipio Baruta para participar. Aquí el cronograma para los próximos cursos:

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¿Te animas a pasar los viernes en la mañana aprendiendo distintas técnicas para reutilizar bolsas, botellas, pitillos, empaques de alimentos y un sin fin de plásticos?  Anímate, participa y si puedes comparte la información con tus amigos y allegados que creas puedan estar interesados también. Las inscripciones ya están abiertas, el curso tiene una duración de 3 meses. Espero que sea una experiencia innovadora, nutritiva y magnifica para todos lo que me acompañen. A continuación una muestra de los objetos que se pueden hacer con las técnicas que aprenderemos en el taller de reciclarte:

Tejido con agujas y  bolsas plásticas.

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Tejido con bolas plásticas y pitillos

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Tejido con cd’s y bolsas plasticas

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Flores con empaques de alimentos, botellas plásticas, pitillos y mucha creatividad

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Cuadros, carteras y mucho más con plástico fundido

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Accesorios con plásticos

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Animales y Esculturas

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¡Ojalá que estas imágenes te inspiren a inscribirte!

Posted in Actividades para hacer con niños, Contact, Reciclaje creativo, Venezuela | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weaving with plastic straws and plastic bags / Tejido con pitillos y bolsas plásticas

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Happy 2014!  From now on my posts will  be shorter and bi-lingual. I am now living In Venezuela so I will be writing in Spanish also.

¡Feliz 2014! ¡Este blog ahora será bilingüe!

Most people may not think plastic straws are a big problem, but they are! Many people use them, it’s plastic, it’s not being recycled and it’s one of the most common littering items found on streets and beaches in our world. So next time say NO to the straw.

La mayoría de la personas no creen que los pitillos plásticos puedan ser un grave problema para el ambiente, ¡pero lo es! Son demasiadas personas en el mundo que utilizan los pitillos, que no son reciclados, y a parte son uno de los objetos que más ensucian las calles y playas de nuestro mundo. Estamos demasiado acostumbrados a utilizarlos cuando muchas veces ni siquiera son necesarios. Yo no entiendo por qué en muchos restaurantes te sirven la bebida en un vaso de vidrio (que debería estar limpio) y además te dan un pitillo plástico. La próxima vez que te vayan a dar un pitillo piénsalo bien y si puedes dile NO a estos enemigos del ambiente.

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Straws will still be around for some time and as usual I am always looking for creative ways to give a second life to these single use plastics. I wanted to try weaving with straws and plastic bags for a long time. I was interested in trying out this activity with children to test how easy and fun it would be for them.  During the holidays I planned a crafty afternoon with my beautiful nieces Maia (9) and Lucia (7) and our lovely neighbors Jose (9) and Natalia (7) and I discovered that it was easy for them, kept them busy for a couple of hours and that they really enjoyed it. So here goes a tutorial on how to weave with straws and plastic bags:

Desde hace tiempo quería experimentar el tejido con pitillos y bolsas debido a que estos artículos son los que se ven con más frecuencia en las calles en Venezuela. Durante mis vacaciones en Mérida la vecina me mostró un abanico elaborado con pitillos y cintas, y decidí probar hacerlo con bolsas plásticas. Aproveché la visita de mis sobrinas Maia, de 9 años y Lucia, de 7; y a los vecinitos Joseito y Natalia para ver qué tan divertido y fácil sería esta actividad con niños. Considero que fue todo un éxito. Ellos disfrutaron muchísimo, así que a continuación un tutorial:

Save straws and plastic bags / Guarda las bolsas plásticas y los pitillos que utilices (y lávalos)

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Cut bags into long strips by taking off the handles and the bottom. Roll the strip into a ball. (link to tutorial on how to cut bags) / Corta las bolsas en tiras largas y enrolla la tira en una pelotica (imagenes de como hacer esto)

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Take 14 straws and tie them not to close to the end (about an inch)/ Utiliza alrededor de 14 pitillos y amárralos fuertemente unos 2-3 cm antes del final. Puedes utilizar un alambre o hilo.

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Tie your plastic bag strip with a knot on the first straw and start to weave under and over, back and forth. / Amarra la tira de bolsa con un nudo al primer pitillo y empieza a tejer por abajo y por arriba hasta el final y regresando hasta cubrir casi todos los pitillos (no lo lleves hasta el borde)

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When reaching the end, it’s a good idea to use a bit of glue on the last row  so the weave does not unravel./ Cuando llegues a la última fila  ponle un puntico de goma blanca en donde la bolsa toque a cada pitillo para sujetarlo y que no se deshaga el tejido.

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I hope that you can reuse creatively all your straws and plastics bags and that you have as much fun as we did! / Espero que reutilices muchos pitillos y bolsas y sobre todo que te diviertas tanto como nosotros disfrutamos hacer estos abanicos.

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Posted in Actividades para hacer con niños, Reciclaje creativo, Up Cycling Projects, Upcycling Single Use Plastics, Venezuela, Weaving, Working with Children | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

BAYKEEPERS Documentary

I am leaving Australia permanently in one week and I could not be happier to announce the premiere of Baykeepers on the last night before take-off! I have been working as a producer on this documentary for the last 6 months with a very talented and committed  team. Among them my husband and editor of the film Manuel Mejia. We were also blessed to work with the accomplished director Michael Lutman, who had previously made the film Plasticized  and with the much loved community leader Neil Blake.

The story follows Port Phillip Baykeeper, Neil Blake on the journey to measure how far the age of plastics has invaded the bay, discovering a growing community striving to protect Port Phillip Bay for generations to come.

The premiere will be  Monday 4 November at  the Beachcomber Cafe, Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda. 6.30pm for 7pm screening, the cost is free, but Cost Please book at the following link:http://www.trybooking.com/DUKJ

BAYKEEPERS is not only visually stunning but a captivating story that will make people think about plastics entering the waterways and how they are affecting the diverse and rich wildlife of this beautiful bay. Unfortunately a story that is replicated in many other places around the globe.

I will be moving back to the Americas where I will continue to work relentlessly and creatively promoting not only awareness but solutions to the problem of plastics in our environment. As for my stay in Australia it has exceeded all my expectations and dreams. I am eternally grateful to this land and to all the people that have supported me, these past 4.5 years,  both in Perth and in Melbourne.  Thank You All for your friendships, kindness, generosity and spirit!

Posted in Community, Endagered Wildlife, Life in Melbourne, PET Bottles, Plastic Bags, Plastic Pollution, Recycling, REfuse, Sustainability, Waste Management, What’s Up | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Bags Revolt Stall

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We were invited to have a stall at the City of Stonnington Spring into Gardening 2013 Celebration.  The idea was to provide Melbournian kids and families with the opportunity to think about how single use plastics are affecting marine wildlife and to provide them with the opportunity to Reuse Creatively these materials.

These are some of the images and messages that decorated our beautiful stall:

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It was a great family event. Thanks to all who were brave enough to battle the weather. Special thanks to our little visitors and our big helpers Mani, Fabiola, Amanda, Alberto and Emma!

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As I mentioned on my last post we were also making a second banner for the mural that will be on display at the Toorak library. This is how it turned out. Stunning!

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For me it was an opportunity to produce an event targeted for a large crowd (instead of  a workshop). After a few weeks of preparation and planning, the day came but unfortunately due to the weather there were a lot less visitors than expected. The day was still very special, great crowd, food and activities. There were many insightful conversations with the people who stopped at our stall  but one in particular made my day: A mom was standing waiting for her daughter to finish a piece, she read the sign that says “Balloons are plastics, don’t release them they will land and we will mistake them for food” and she said to her daughter, “oh! we must stop releasing our balloons, we didn’t know they could hurt animals!” It felt great to see the little one’s enthusiasm with the activity and to know that our message could change how people dispose of their plastics. Looking forward to many more events like this one!

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Spring into Gardening

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Everyone’s invited this  Sunday the 13th of October for a day of FUN at the Victoria Gardens. There will be free activities for everyone, including presentations, demonstrations, children’s activities and market stalls. I will be there with BagsRevolt making Sea Creatures with Plastics! We will also be making a Mural for the Toorak Library. It’s a great opportunity to leave a beautiful creative message that we need to protect these little creatures from our trash!

I have been making this banner for our stall. We will  make another banner this Sunday at the event and both canvases will be the mural that will be on display at the Toorak Library.

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I think these little sea creatures that emerged are quite cute, what do you think?

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The activity is best suited for older kids (4+) but the little one can participate with their parents helping them out.  I was asked by the council to come down to the garden on Tuesday, because the Weather Man from Channel 10 was coming to film (he is the announcer at the event) to promote the day. The Mayor was also there and a group of kids from a local Kindergarten. I was lucky to get such good helpers. This team of mom and daughter made this lovely dolphin:

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I hope to have some beautiful pictures of the grand celebration for the much welcomed arrival of Spring!  For me it’s a farewell celebration (one of many to come in the next 3 weeks).  I will be leaving permanently in early November the beautiful land of Oz. But there is one more BIG SURPRISE/CELEBRATION before I takeoff more on that soon!

Posted in Community, Life in Melbourne, PET Bottles, Plastic Bags, Portraits, Textures and Colors, Trash Art, What’s Up, Working with Children | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

World Coastal Clean Up Day

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Need more reason to come and join us? Do you think these guys…

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Deserve to have their life’s threaten by our plastic trash?

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Join the Transition Port Phillip crew and the thousands of volunteers around the world who will be participating this Saturday 21st of September. Our efforts can turn the tide on   plastic pollution, together we can make a difference!

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Posted in Life in Melbourne, Plastic Pollution | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tribute To Lutecia Adam, My Grandmother

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My grandmother, Lutecia Adam is a strong and powerful woman, who has always appreciated the pleasures and beauty of life. She is a source of  inspiration for me, an example of a resilient creative life! A teacher to many, respected and loved in Venezuela for her knowledge in holistic medicine. Her books, filled with old and popular natural remedies have alleviated many either recovering from an illness or making a peaceful transition to another life by showing them the use of natural herbs, the power of certain foods for healing and the overall changes that a person has to make . Nature’s Laboratory (the names of her 3 books and the weekly column she wrote for more than 15 years in the national newspaper) is where she found her inspiration and wisdom! A survivor herself,  twenty years ago, diagnosed terminally ill, she not only cured herself , but she has spent the years after her recovery sharing  her knowledge of how we can all achieve a long and healthy life connecting to nature’s wisdom and abundance.

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My grandmother is now retired. But it is not easy for a woman like her to settle down. She lives in a small town in the countryside, 2.5 hours drive from Caracas. She still receives visits from patients seeking her advice and is writing two new books: one on her experience through the harsh dictatorship of Marcos Perez Jimenez and another one on foods for cancer patients.  Unbelievably she also makes time to run a community garden/ learning center, takes care of her own garden, cooks amazing nutritious feasts and her latest adventure: crochets with plastics bags!

Another characteristics  common to her generation, unlike ours, is that she reuses everything!  She took a modest little country house and renovated it into her beautiful home. This house is filled with examples of upcycling, from the colorful glass bottles encrusted in the kitchen wall to the big tire in the garden used as a flower bed, everything get’s a second life with her!

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I have no doubt that much of my creative spirit was directly inherited from her and stimulated with her presence in my life! On my last visits to Venezuela I taught her how to make Plarn (plastic yarn) and how to fuse plastics. She has found yet another source of expression for her creativity in these activities and has been producing ever since some amazingly beautiful pieces:

She made this hat by fusing plastics bags:

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These two handbags also showcase her artistic talents:

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It was my grandmother who patiently taught me how to crochet when I was 12. An activity I have just recently taken up again. I taught her how to use plastic bags to crochet. It has been a wonderful exchange of ideas, knowledge and most of all Love. I Love her and I am so proud of her and she Loves me and is also very proud of me! Thank God for grandmothers, specially for my beautiful, amazing grandmother!

Posted in About, Knitting and Crochet, Plastic Bags | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments