FanPlastic Girl: Giving New Life to Old Plastic
“When your bottle of Cheer has done its last cheering, no need to fear – I’ll make you some earrings!“
Hey Planeteers! When I was offered the opportunity to contribute to this blog, I’m not going to lie, I was pretty stoked. I’m quite sure I spent much of my childhood chasing other kids around with my Ring Pop yelling “WATER” and “WIND” in their faces… So, who am I? Well, I’m the owner of FanPlastic Girl Gear; a little business I started a couple years ago on a mission to provide planet friendly alternatives to wearable accessories.
I make jewelry out of all the plastic disposables that you would normally put outside on the curb on garbage day. Why? Well, anything plastic is here…basically forever. And, I believe that if everyone took responsibility for just ONE piece; that would make about seven billion less pieces of plastic floating in our oceans! So, instead of carrying it, or storing it, why not wear it?
How? First, I soap up! I wash all my recyclables very well before doing anything else. I have a basement full of donated plastic containers and beach combed items….and who knows where they have been! So, to the tub with them!
Next, I cut the plastics into large chunks and dry them thoroughly. And, yes I have cut myself many times, let me tell you – tin snips cut more than tin. So, DO NOT try this at home. I have serious safety equipment and years of practice, and am still a hazard to myself!
I used to hope that Edward Scissorhands would show up at my door and help me out with the total destruction of my pieces, but I got some equipment instead. (For the record, Johnnie Depp, if you’re reading this… You’re still more than welcome on my doorstep.)
After that, I process; Depending on the style I’m fabricating, I am either left with smooth perfect shapes, OR very rough cuts that I have to polish out and heat seal later – where I will undoubtedly burn myself several times, jumping up and down and whining in the process.
Once I’ve finished the polishing, I grab some shiny hardware and assemble the collection: CD Earrings, Peanut Butter Jar Lid Head Pieces, Laundry Bottle Necklaces… Every item gets its own “tree-free” paper display card that is made from scraps from cotton mills and dead plant fibers. When I see the final products like this, I smile. What is it they say? “Blood, sweat, and tears”‘ check, check, and yep, check. Let me tell you, Captain Planet is blue for a reason!
I’ve recently teamed up with an amazingly talented artist by the name of David Ayala, to create a comic strip called Ocean’s Entourage. Based on the teensy bit over exaggerated tales of FanPlastic Girl and her mean, green eco-friends, Raina The Halifax Mermaid and Sola. All based on real people and our real work (ok…we can’t REALLY fly, or lift tons of weight… but I think you will get it)! This strip will be available monthly starting in the end of October.
And, know this, you don’t have to change EVERYTHING to make a difference. Doing just ONE thing helps. After all, it all happens by your powers combined…. 😉