Rear View Mirror: Saying Goodbye to Gyre: The Plastic Ocean

As you may already know, our Fall 2015 exhibition, Gyre: The Plastic Ocean closed to the public on November 21, 2015. We’re so sad to see Gyre: The Plastic Ocean go, but we’re already preparing for our upcoming exhibition, 20/20: Accelerando.

Gyre may be long gone, but the themes from exhibition still linger on at the Fisher. We’ve become more aware of our actions around the office and at home. For instance, we all bring our own reusable water bottles and use mugs for coffee to cut down on single use plastic cups. We stopped ordering plastic water cups and instead we carry paper cups for events, receptions, and meetings. Since we’ve cut down on the use of plastics in the museum and during our events, we’ve noticed that we have also begun producing much less waste than before. Should we ever use plastics, we always make sure to recycle them. While we would individually do our part to help save the environments before the show, our active and collective effort in the workplace has definitely shown drastic and positive results.

We don’t just want to our efforts to stop at the workplace; we are also encouraging Fisher visitors to reduce, reuse, recycle, and REFUSE plastics. We hosted eight diverse programs throughout the semester to target plastic pollution, environmental consciousness, and wastefulness in a myriad of ways. Cynthia Minet gave a casual walkthrough and discussion of her focus exhibition, Beast of Burden, and her artwork, “Pack Dogs.” For film buffs, we screened “Waste Land” in collaboration with the Environmental Student Assembly. The experience was complete with a vintage inspired popcorn machine, cotton candy, lemonade, and iced tea! We even had flash performance troupe “Salty Shakespeare” perform during Categorically Not, a casual talk hosted by USC Professor of Journalism, KC Cole. Now you may ask, “what does Shakespeare have to do with plastics?” Well, they helped expand our definition of plasticity by showing us the plasticity of language and our bodies! Other events included yoga in the museum, concerts, and talks.

The exhibition may have ended in November, but our efforts to help reduce plastics continue. Even the smallest actions can yield positive outcomes. Every plastic straw refused means one less harm to wildlife. Every plastic lid and cup refused at your favorite coffee shop means that one less plastic item will be produced. Individual efforts add up to create a larger collective impact on the environment.

Click on the graphic below for tips from Fisher staff to help reduce plastic waste!

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Got tips of your own? Let us know via Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, @fishermuseum!