Trash to Treasure

Trash to Treasure

Blog post by Ellen
Wednesday, June 3, 2015

It is the summer of 2015 and Austin, Texas has earned the reputation of becoming one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.  But, for a moment, let’s try to think back 65 to 90 million years ago, when the residents of Austin were creatures like the Onion Creek Mosasaur and the Shoal Creek Plesiosaur. These creatures walked and swam on the very ground and water that we use today, but traces of their impact on the environment have rarely been discovered. Have you ever considered your impact on the world around you? 

People all over the world, not just in Austin, are struggling to learn to be mindful of the environment and the importance of valuing and protecting the wonderful treasures that make our planet so unique; because once we lose them, they’re gone. An example of this is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch – a gigantic island of trash in the Pacific Ocean bigger than the size of Texas. This summer Literature Live! is presenting Tortuga del Mar, a puppet show about two baby turtles and their encounter with this floating island. Most of the puppets and props are made from found objects and waste, incorporating animation sequences which were also fabricated from garbage. You’d be surprised what you can make out of trash!

Did you know that there is hidden treasure in your recycling bin and trash containers? I have been collecting recyclables and trash for over six months for this project and it has been surprising, even shocking, how much waste one family generates in a relatively short amount of time. My family laughs at me when I rescue a special item from the recycling bin or the trash can and declare it perfect for puppet purposes. I’ve even gone as far as to buy items according to the kind of puppet friendly packaging a product has!

We want to help you turn that trash into puppets! In addition to Tortuga del Mar, Literature Live! will be hosting five Found Object Puppet Labs. Bring something from your recycle bin, an unrecyclable item or an interesting object that you found, and we will assist you in transforming it into a puppet and then bringing it to life. This program is recommended for ages 5 and up.

Have a great green summer with some of the following activities:







Austin Public Library's Literature Live! shares ideas for ways to upcycle trash into puppets.






Plan to make the Library a regular visit this summer and join us for reading and special events.






Check the Library’s Talk Green to Me: Sustainable Living Series, to keep updated on Austin sustainability.






Recycled Reads is APL’s very own book store dedicated to zero waste and a must-visit for booklovers!






Engage in activities such as making seed balls, learning about beneficial insects, litter awareness, etc. with Keep Austin Beautiful’s activity kits.




The City of Austin’s Water Protection Department has some great ideas for sustainable landscaping practices and they are educating the public with their Grow Green campaign.