Trash into treasure at Mt. Marion Elementary

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It’s been said that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and members of the Mt. Marion Elementary School Green Team environmental club proved that at their “Up-cycle Art Show” held on November 15.

Given the task of making art by reusing items that would otherwise have been thrown away, students let their creativity shine, crafting everything from candleholders and mobiles to bird-feeders and robots. “All the projects are so cool,” said Melinda France, a Mt. Marion parent and the advisor for the Green Team, which is enjoying an active second year and increased membership.

France explained that the purpose of the activity was to help the students think about alternate uses for common household items before throwing them away. The students took the assignment to heart and their effort showed. Some of their “up-cycled” items were decorative, some were useful, and others were just plain fun.


Countless birds will appreciate the work of third grade student Cameron France, who created a colorful bird-feeder from an empty orange juice bottle and an aluminum container that once contained restaurant garlic knots. Cameron also got into the holiday spirit with a snowman mobile made from the empty cans of one of his older sister’s favorite foods, Chef Boyardee Beefaroni.

With a touch of paint and some beads, fourth grade student Savannah Scarpa-Meade turned trash into fashion, creating a skirt from the remains of an inflatable rubber chair that popped. Ben Reynolds, a first grade student, made a project that he hoped would help raise some green for the Green Team. Next to his pink-painted soda bottle piggy bank, Ben placed a sign that said, “Feed the pig. Donations for the Green Team.” Second-grader Joshua Mattice was careful to point out that the process of creating his cereal box gift bags involved eating all the cereal first.

One of the most popular projects on display at the art show was Revilo the Robot, created by first grade student Oliver Ashton. Oliver used a supermarket rotisserie chicken container, egg cartons, motion-sensitive Halloween lights, drinking straws, yogurt cups, tube amps and his father’s pliers to create a blinking “up-cycled” masterpiece that looked like it was about to spring to life at any moment. Revilo even came complete with his own license plate with storage, made from an Altoids tin.

Mt. Marion principal Carole Kelder said all the projects were “amazing” and added, “I’m so impressed with what they’ve done with recyclables. It’s given me a new appreciation for items we normally throw away.”