2017, Middle School, Art
We were inspired to create an image of Quetzalcoatl, the Mesoamerican serpent God. Our school has been discarding approximately 500 polystyrene trays and spork packages with straws per day, in addition to hundreds of chip bags. These plastic pollutants either end up in the landfill or on the school’s field, where the mower turns them into plastic shrapnel. The wind blows it out onto the street, into the storm drain, and ultimately directly into the ocean, which is only 3 miles away. The image of Quetzalcoatl spoke to us because he is revered as the God of intelligence, creation, self-reflection, and the giver of life. Since our school community is predominately Hispanic, it is able to relate culturally. We created our image of Quetzalcoatl out of approximately one day’s worth of the school’s discarded plastic trash. The plastic Quetzalcoatl was displayed during our Zero Waste Week campaign with a prominent poster asking for self-reflection about how each of us can contribute to the stop of plastic pollution. During the campaign we collected over 500 signatures urging the school board to adopt policies to end the use of polystyrene trays and spork packages and to replace these items with reusable options. Our awareness campaign culminated in a meeting with the school district’s director of child nutrition services and a presentation to the school board. During both meetings, the plastic Quetzalcoatl was the centerpiece on top of the discussion table all parties were seated around.