Cute, But Deadly! Plastic Marine Debris Creatures Invade Art From Scrap Gallery

Community Tidepool 2The number of creatures in our tidepool is growing! Although they are cute, these tidepool inhabitants are constructed out of the ubiquitous plastic litter found on our local beaches. Come check out these adorable, but deadly “Litter Creatures” at To The Sea an unnatural journey at the Art From Scrap Gallery at 302 East Cota Street in downtown Santa Barbara.

Spotticus Jaunticularias by Holly Mackay:

To The Sea an unnatural journey is a collaborative installation. Community members were invited to construct “Litter Creatures” out of trash that they found on the beach or near a storm drain.

More Litter Creatures:

Community tidepool 5

The art on the re-used blue trays was inspired by old instructional diagrams depicting life cycles and systems of plants and animals. Guest Curator and artist Holly Mackay asked children if they would draw a creature made from plastic- one that they might find on the beach or near a storm drain. The kids drew and then Holly reproduced their drawings on the trays and colored them in.


#1To The Sea, an unnatural journey will be at the Art From Scrap Gallery from August 22nd through October 4th. Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturdays 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.


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5 Reasons Why Explore Ecology Loves Jack Johnson

At Explore Ecology we love to educate people about how their everyday choices affect the environment.  To have an even great impact, we are teaming up with Jack Johnson on his 2014 From Here To Now To You Tour and All At Once, a social action network that connects nonprofits with people who want to become active in their community. All At Once also promotes sustainable local food systems and plastic free initiatives, both perfect fits for our Marine Debris Prevention, Healthy Watersheds, School Gardens and Waste Reduction Programs.

Bonnaroo08_jackjohnson2_lgJack has donated two tickets for Explore Ecology to give away to his County Bowl  Concert in Santa Barbara. Participate in our Pre-Concert Beach Clean Up on Sunday, August 10th, from noon-2:00 pm at Arroyo Burro Beach for a chance to win!

Jack Johnson’s charity is also matching donations contributed to us at the show or directly to our organization through September 1st, up to a total of $2500. Make a contribution right now and your money will be doubled by the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation!

5 Reasons Why We Love Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson’s makes his tours  and concerts as eco-friendly as possible. His tour crew work towards a zero waste tour by:

  1. Composting, recycling and other waste diversion efforts.
  2. Eliminating the use of single-use plastic water bottles on tour by filling up at backstage water refill stations and providing water stations for his fans to use.
  3. Using sustainable biodiesel to fuel tour trucks, buses and generators.
  4. Utilizing a farm to stage catering program to source locally grown organic foods.
  5. All tour merchandise is made with sustainable materials with a focus on reusables and renewables.

Look for the Explore Ecology table at at Jack’s show at the Santa Barbara County Bowl on Sunday, August 31. Visit to check out what you can do before, during and after the show to get involved.

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To The Sea, an unnatural journey- Plastic Marine Debris Exhibition Opens at Art From Scrap Gallery

Call for entries to the seaCalling All Artists! Art From Scrap and Guest Curator Holly Mackay invite you to submit work for To The Sea, an unnatural journey, a mixed media collaborative installation that will be at the Art From Scrap Gallery from August 22nd through October 4th.  To The Sea is a playful call to action aiming to empower and engage the community in finding solutions to the growing problem of plastics in our environment, specifically in our water.

holly to the sea 10Artists and community members of all ages are invited to create creatures out of beach plastic or litter from or near a storm drain and submit their pieces for inclusion in the show. An entry form can be picked up during AFS store hours or downloaded from the Art From Scrap Facebook page. The Form can also be downloaded directly by clicking here. Deadline for art intake is Friday, August 15th at 4:30 pm.Enamel painting of beach plastic 1

Open To Artists of All Ages
Bring Art & Submission Form To Art From Scrap During Open Hours: Tuesday-Friday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm & Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Deadline For Art Intake is Friday, August 15th at 4:30 pm
No Entry Fee
Art work will be displayed in a Tidal Zone Diorama on which Mackay will attach the “creatures”.

To The Sea Opening and Reception is on Friday, August 22nd, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at the Art From Scrap Gallery at 302 East Cota Street in downtown Santa Barbara.





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Drought? Get Your Greywater On!

As temperatures and water bills rise in California, greywater installations are becoming popular as a way to save water, money and have a positive effect on the environment and groundwater supplies.

Greywater is the water that comes from your kitchen sink, dishwasher, bath, shower and laundry machine. (It’s not blackwater- water that comes from your toilet or from washing diapers that may contain harmful bacteria.)  Greywater can be harvested from your kitchen and bathroom and used to water ornamental plants or fruit trees. Your greywater contains nutrients which act as a fertilizer for plants. Using greywater for irrigation keeps valuable water out of the sewage system and keeps the water that you use onsite, saving you money and resources.


How Can You Reuse Greywater?

1.) Easy Bucket Method- Keep a bucket in your shower and use it to capture the water that comes out before your water heater kicks in. Pour this water on your plants! For easy, DIY right now tips on greywater check out Modern Farmer’s blog here.

2.) Pipe Greywater Outside- For basic guidelines, check out GreywaterAction’s website.

3.) Professional Greywater Installation- Have a professional assess your property and set up a system that will work for your irrigation needs. Some of these systems can be quite simple and effective and help you maintain a green landscape during dry times.

Note: Recycling your greywater is an excellent way to ensure that the personal care and laundry products that you use are healthy for you and the planet. Check out rainwater harvesting specialist Brad Lancaster’s website for tips about what kind of soap to use in greywater harvesting.

Great resources for learning more about greywater include: Oasis Designs- Art Ludwig’s website is a treasure trove about water in general and how to save it!


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Beautiful and Blissful Buddha Abides Opens At Art From Scrap Gallery

IMG_5120The 14th Annual Buddha Abides opens at the Art From Scrap Gallery on Friday, June 27th at 6:00 – 8:00 pm.  Showcasing over 50 works of art, this year’s exhibition is blissful and beautiful. Local artists including Sukey Hughes, Jay Farbman, Ron Robertson, Pamela Zwehl-Burke, Bari Romoy,and Pali X Mano created Buddhist-inspired art for this fundraising event- 25% of proceeds benefit the Tibetan Children’s Village.


Join us for an evening of festivities, food, great conversation and fun. Buddha Abides will be at the Art From Scrap Gallery until August 7th. The AFS Gallery is located at 302 East Cota street in downtown Santa Barbara. Gallery Hours are Tuesday- Friday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm.


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Conserve and Protect Our Beaches- Vote For Explore Ecology Now

Explore Ecology has been selected as a featured charity partner on They are raising money from their community of online donors in June to help educate children about watersheds and pollution.

Chemicals and fertilizers from agriculture, industrial waste, garbage and raw sewage that make it to the ocean can have significant effects on water quality. You can help save our beaches by supporting our efforts to educate children throughout Santa Barbara County.  On our field trips and in our classes we teach kids how to stop marine debris from entering our waterways. We show them how everything is connected and how they can have a direct impact on their local creek and beach water quality by picking up litter, choosing reusable over disposable products and using nontoxic gardening and soil amendments.

IMG_2744beach cleanup4Along with CharitySub, we have a great opportunity to grow our impact and currently have 30% of their community’s selections. We would love your support to make that number grow.

You can sign up here and cast your vote for us by June 30th, Please help us spread the word to family and friends!

Thanks so much for your continued support.


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