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Turning marine debris into ornaments for the Capitol Christmas tree

Turning marine debris into ornaments for the Capitol Christmas tree
Bonnie Dillard, an artist in Kodiak Island, Alaska, is doing something about the plastics problem, but in a much more festive way. Using plastics washed up on the beaches where she lives, the retired art teacher is crafting materials to create colorful fish as ornaments.“The fish happen to be our main economic and food recourse and the plastics are becoming a threat to our livelihood and to the fish as well,” says Dillard.

Bonnie Dillard, an artist in Kodiak Island, Alaska, is doing something about the plastics problem, but in a much more festive way. Using plastics washed up on the beaches where she lives, the retired art teacher is crafting materials to create colorful fish as ornaments.

“The fish happen to be our main economic and food recourse and the plastics are becoming a threat to our livelihood and to the fish as well,” says Dillard.

In a bid to expand her platform about the plastics crisis, Dillard responded to the US Forest Service’s call for local artists to decorate the 74 foot Lutz Spruce Capitol Christmas tree in Washington, DC, which came from the Chugach National Forest in Alaska.

Based on her prototype of a shampoo-bottle fish, the forest service selected Dillard to create around 250 ornaments and decorations made from ocean-borne toothbrushes, fishing nets, buoys, six-pack rings, and other debris.

Overall, the 2015 Capitol Christmas Tree has more than 4,000 ornaments made by Alaskan students and community members. Each artist designed ornaments that highlighted their personal connection to the landscape, wildlife, heritage, or ecosystems of Alaska.

Dillard also creates ornaments from water bottles, which is her biggest pet peeve.

Go here to see how you can make your very own ornament this holiday season.

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