anthropology · children · community · creativity · culture · design · environment · music

In New Documentary “Landfill Harmonic” Music Students Scrape Together their Instruments from Trash

The kids show off their instruments

Making music is a pretty powerful thing. Especially if you’re making it out of recycled objects and keeping things out of landfills.

“Landfill Harmonic,” an upcoming documentary scheduled for release in 2014, tells the story of an orchestra whose musicians play instruments made from trash. The film is set in the town of Cateura, Paraguay, which is built on a landfill. Many of the town’s residents collect trash to recycle and sell for money, and many of the town’s children are susceptible to getting involved with gangs or drugs. A music program was set up to help keep the kids out of trouble, but because so many of them were interested, there was soon a shortage of instruments.

more via In New Documentary, ‘Recycled Orchestra’ Makes Instruments from Trash |

Music, like play, has been shown to have so many cognitive benefits, and emotional as well (plus even the act of music is called “playing”). There is something very deeply rooted in humanity about playing music, it is wonderful that through ingenuity and creativity these kids can channel their energy into the incredible power of making music. Plus the fact that they’re keeping things out of landfills is just a double bonus!

More information:

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community · creativity

Playgrounds made from junk | KaBOOM!

Recycle, reuse, replay!

Playgrounds made from junk | KaBOOM!

Plastic bottles, car parts, shipping containers, steel drums, and tires.

No, we’re not describing a junkyard — we’re describing a potential playground. Recycled playground structures combine ingenuity, whimsy, and thrift to create spaces that are friendly to our kids and our planet alike.From Brazil to Norway to Uganda, these playgrounds are true gems, even if they’re made from junk; more via Playgrounds made from junk | KaBOOM!.

behavior · environment

BBC News – Italy to begin ban on plastic bags in shops

Plastic food bags and pouches.
Image via Wikipedia

It’s official: Italians are more eco-friendly than Seattle-ites, at least when it comes to petroleum:

A ban on plastic bags is coming into effect in Italy, which has one of the highest rates of consumption of the bags in Europe.

The ban begins in shops across Italy on 1 January, with only biodegradable, cloth or paper bags to be offered.

Italians use 20 billion plastic bags a year – more than 300 per person.

Supporters of the ban say plastic bags are an environmental hazard which use too much oil to produce and can take decades to break down.

The law for a gradual ban on plastic bags was introduced in 2006.

more via BBC News – Italy to begin ban on plastic bags in shops.