Upcycling toothbrushes for Burning Man in Cali

Later this month, thousands of creative, curious festival goers will gather in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for a week of music, art, and revelry. They call it Burning Man, and those who attend experience the joy that comes along with unrestricted self-expression and community in a pop-up city.

One of the most thrilling parts of burning man are all the art installations created on-site by the talented group of people drawn to the excitement of a massive desert party. This year, two artists are looking to use their Burning Man project as a catalyst for keeping plastic pollution out of the landfill. The reVITALize project is currently gathering funds to make a giant disco ball out of discarded toothbrushes, and then suspended 100 feet in the air by crane, lighting up the desert at this year’s festival.

Image via reVITALize

Any time a bunch of humans get together, it’s bound to be a messy affair. That’s why Burning Man is a “Leave No Trace” event. Attendees are instructed to treat the Playa with respect, since the ability to come back next year relies entirely on taking every thing but the footprints home when they leave.

The reVITALize project fits in perfectly with this philosophy, seeking to create awareness, educate, and enlist kids to join the fight against the full-blown plastic epidemic that threatens our environment, starting with their toothbrushes.

For instance, did you know that toothbrushes are made of type 2, 3, and 5 plastics, which take hundreds of years to decompose? With less than a quarter of the two hundred million tons of trash Americans produce annually being recycled, reVITALize insists recycling is as vital as brushing.

Toothbrushes donated to the program through TerraCycle are being used as the building blocks for the disco ball art installation designed and constructed by Yarrow Mazzetti and Overkill (pictured above). If successful in gathering enough funding, it will be unveiled at the 2013 Burning Man festival at Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

Want to help hoist this upcycled disco ball over the Playa? Check out the project’s crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo.

* Beth Buczynski, EarthTechling