Check out what the RuckusRoots team has been working on. Read on below for all the exciting news!


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Like the rest of the world, we can now be found on Instagram! Check out our fun photos and see what we're up to @RuckusRoots. Spot a #trashformation of your own or #artivism in action?  We'd love for you to share your pictures!  You can also get a little fancy and come up with RuckusRoots hashtags of your own, start a trend!

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We'd like to wish all of you a very happy Thanksgiving and holiday season. Thanks for all your continued support.  

The Ruckus continues... 

This Thanksgiving, we are grateful for our friends of the Ruckus! 

We’ve had a productive and fun-filled summer/early fall, and are excited to catch you up on the details. Besides building a new art installation, which helped launch the world’s most sustainable bike company, we made an appearance (and some interactive art) at the country’s biggest sustainability/education conference. We also started our first TRASHformation program at Nightingale Middle School in Cypress Park. Things are coming right along, and we couldn’t do it without your support. Please consider becoming a member of our Monthly Sustainer’s Club today: even the smallest monthly donation helps fund our operational costs and keeps us going on a day-to-day basis. Read on for more about what we’ve been up to and thanks for joining the ruckus!

Your faithful leader, 

Christine Spehar

P.S. Check out Daryl Hannah and me (below) at the EcoChic Fashion Show, which took place during LA's Fashion Week as a fundraiser for Project Save Our Surf. Daryl is a big activist for clean oceans, and it was an honor to meet her! A big thanks to Marina DeBris for inviting me to wear "Castaway," her latest piece of trashion, built entirely from garbage washed up on the beach.  

D3 Lab at Nightingale Middle School

TRASHformation takes on its newest TRASHformers:
As many of you know, we've been working towards bringing our TRASHformation program to students in underserved East LA schools. Recently we achieved that goal by teaming up with D3 Lab at Nightingale Middle School in Cypress Park to start our newest version of the program. The premise behind the D3 Lab is that it provides a place for students to formulate, design and realize their own ideas, and so all aspects of this creation will be based on the students' own motivations and conceptualizations. We've been running the program for about five weeks now and so far, it's been a success! 
First, we came up with a system for collecting trash around campus and determined what sorts of items might be the best for building our art piece. The students picked high-traffic areas around the school, decorated bins and assigned classmates to pick up the trash and bring it back to the D3 Lab. Every day, extra motivated students would come in to wash the trash in preparation for the build. Most recently, we conducted a waste audit, assessing, recording and organizing all the different types of trash and recycling items the students have collected thus far. We piled everything in the middle of the floor and wrote down the different categories represented in our trash pile. Then we sorted the items by category. The students weren’t shy about organizing the trash; there was definitely a sense of excitement as we began to think about all the cool art we could make using the materials we had amassed. Some of the most common trash items we collected included chip bags, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes and tubes, as well as paper and rubber.

We’re looking forward to next week, when, after a show and tell of trash art from around the world, we will begin brainstorming ideas for our own art piece. Stay tuned, as the build of our very own TRASHformation at Nightingale Middle School will begin just after the Thanksgiving holiday. So excited! For more pictures and updates from Nightingale, be sure to check out our blog

Learn more about the D3 Lab and check out their blog here. 

RuckusRoots Helps Launch The Recycle

Our latest recycled art installation goes to Vegas: 
Last month, RuckusRoots was asked to create a booth made completely from recycled materials for the launch of The ReCycle at the Interbike Expo, the world’s biggest bike trade show, held in Las Vegas, Sept 19-21, 2012. The ReCylce is the world’s first bike line with both frame and fork made from 100% recycled aluminum content. Every other component on the ReCycle bikes is either sourced from a local company, made in the USA, or made from renewable materials. In short, The ReCycle is the world’s most eco-conscious line of bikes. Needless to say, we were excited to be asked to facilitate the launch of such a great product. Even better: unveiling the world’s most sustainable bike line using our own sustainable approach to art in one of the world’s LEAST sustainable cities.

To help reveal the new bike, we decided to make a TRASHformed tree sculpture as our central, eye-catching piece. We cut out and built the tree shape from reclaimed plywood, with the help of a very skilled carpenter friend (thanks, Ken). Our tree wouldn't be complete without leaves, so we asked all of our friends to save their aluminum cans–the more the merrier! We were thrilled at the response: over 500 aluminum cans were donated to help us make this piece! Tin snips in hand, we cut out hundreds of leaf shapes, and scored the backs to make them look more realistic (thanks to Paper Botanicals and Erinn Bone for their help on this part). Next we painted the tree using old paint sitting in the basement and affixed the leaves with small screws.

Walking the pieces of our TRASHformation into the Sands Expo hall in Vegas, we certainly got a few head-turns. Every other booth at the expo was constructed using conventional, rented materials. Once our installation was up, however, confused stares turned into admiring and inquisitive smiles. Attendees were intrigued and impressed by the ingenuity of our display and couldn’t stop asking about how we made it. It was a great experience, exposing thousands of unsuspecting bike enthusiasts to the beauty, fun and ingenuity of TRASHformation, and of sustainable art in general. A big thanks to Bryce Edmonds, co-founder of The ReCycle, for giving us this opportunity. (Click here for pictures and more info.)

AASHE & GreenFest After Party

AASHE Conference comes to LA, RR team heads to SF: 
We had a blast at the AASHE 2012 Conference, which, lucky for us took place in Los Angeles this year. The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s annual event represents the largest convergence of sustainability and education professionals in the country! We had a spot in the expo hall, right next to some other very cool green-minded companies and organizations, like the Sustainable Living Roadshow. For our AASHE installation, we decided to bring a mini version of TRASHformation, so participants could get a true sense of what it is we do. Participants personalized our aluminum can leaves by scoring their names or a drawing on to the back of a leaf; we then drilled the completed leaves onto the tree. Thanks to everyone who came and made leaves with us! We had some great conversations with so many students, teachers, administrators and organizers. It reinforced the belief that there's a large community of creative, enthusiastic and brave people out there willing to forge the path to a happer, more sustainable and more creative society. Thanks to everyone at AASHE for allowing us to bring a TRASHformation to the conference! For more pictures of this event, check out our blog here. 

A few weeks later we were excited to be asked by the lovely folks at the Sustainable Living Roadshow to bring our ReCycle Tree up to SF for the Green Fest after party on November 11th. SLR threw the event in their new venue, located in the Mission district. We met all kinds of new friends, and had a blast showing people how to create new leaves for our tree. We also made sure to give ourselves a little extra time to get down to the two headlining acts of the event: the Fungineers and Afrolicious. I have to say, I haven’t been back to SF in a couple years, and this trip reminded me that it is truly a special city. SF is filled with forward-thinking sustainable activists and artists: you can’t beat it for enlightened conversation and a good ol’ fashioned good time. Thanks to SLR and everyone else we met for making our trip so rewarding and fun! (And thanks once again to Elemental LED for donating the RGB LED wall washers that help bring the tree to life…it looks pretty snazzy, don’t you think?) Check out the new leaves and pictures from the event here!
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