SchoolArts Magazine

May 2016

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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32 MAY 2016 SchoolArts Kari Giordano T he average person in the United States creates five pounds of trash a day. We are a society of disposable objects and overly packaged products. The good news is that our students seem to have an understanding of what their part is in taking care of the planet. Most of them were brought up to recycle and tend not to litter. They know what to do with their trash; however, they don't really consider what happens to it after the trucks take it away. The Journey of Garbage When garbage enters a landfill, it takes a very long time to decom - pose. Within that time, variable conditions make way for the risks of leachates and toxicity to enter our land, water, and air. There seem to be two camps with opposing views on the subject: the "everything's fine; and we have it under control" side, and the "landfills are not safe at all and we need to fix it" side. This controversy began a lively discussion about our choices, respon- sibilities, and opinions pertaining to landfills, resulting in multimedia relief pieces of reaction art. Students in my middle-school classes were asked to research one type of trash that ends up in landfills. Examples included food and yard waste, oil, aluminum, plastic, and metals. This guided students to research and dis- cover a wide variety of statistics, threats, and interesting facts about the types of garbage and its effects on the earth. M I D D L E S C H O O L

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