My family and I had the pure luck of stumbling upon a fantastic Art contest in Grand Rapids, Michigan this past weekend.  ArtPrize consists of over 1,000 artists displaying their work all over the city.  It is a powerful outlet for them to speak their mind and make a statement.  One particular piece I found to be very relevant to our concerns at Hazelnut Kids.  Lisa Yarost’s work was entitled “Recyclable Container for Humans – plastic bales.”  The concept (in short) is that we consume more than we realize, not considering the resources gone into creating these items that are all too disposable.  The conatiner consists of plastics about to be recycled.  It encloses around the people that enter the structure – hopefully giving the viewer a much needed perspective of mass consumption.  A kind of ‘in your face’ visual where every turn you make you see the result of your consumption.  However, there is no roof, giving the viewer a glimpse of hope as they look to the sky.

It is easy to keep consuming in a disposable way – we’ve all done it – paper plates for pizza to avoid doing dishes, plastic baggies so we don’t have to spend money on reusable ones, or plastic bottles when we’re on the go.  It is easy to toss and forget, but standing in this maze of discarded plastics, I was forced to stop and think about how my consumption affects our environment.

You might be wondering why Hazelnut Kids would be writing about over consumption – being that we are in the business of selling products.  The answer is simply this: we work with vendors that do what they can to make each step of production as least harmful as possible to the environment, we sell only quality toys that won’t be tossed in the landfills after one or two uses (in fact, they can be handed down from generation to generation), and we use materials that have been recycled to ship our products.  The Holidays happen, toys will be bought.  I feel good though that I can be a part of providing toys with a clean conscience, and ones that have a long life ahead of them . . . one that does not include the landfill.

– Art work information gathered from artprize.org

– Concept of Art work by Lisa Yarost

Bridgett, Manager – Hazelnut Kids


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