Friday, October 26, 2007

sustainable art teacher

My art room is an eco-chick nightmare. Full of non-recycled drawing paper, paper towels, markers, paint etc. They just don't sell many recycled art papers, sure I save the marked on one side ones for scratch work and have even started saving dried out markers to make something or other.

My latest eco art room nightmare is the acrylic paint. I'm teaching middle school painting and it is such a blast! The kids are making groovy, colorful canvases and I love it. But at the end of class there are all these dirty palettes. Now I used to use paper plates for palettes and throw them away but I decided that was too wasteful so now we wash them and by we I mean ME. So all this paint is going down the drain, that can't be good! My latest system is to use wax paper over the palette and throw that away...then wash the palette if there is paint on it. Meanwhile I have a pile of painty palettes on my counter that haunts my middle of the night thoughts.

1 comment:

two years in Thailand said...

I am an art teacher as well and I find it very difficult to find ways to make green choices in the art room. As far as your paint palette dilemma goes I would suggest investing in some reusable palettes and some plastic wrap. I always have my students cover their palettes with plastic wrap at the end of the day and write their name with a marker on top. That way we waste less materials and there is less paint down the sink. Also when a project is over and it's time to clean the palettes if there is excess paint I always have my students throw the paint away in the bin instead of down the sink.