I had the opportunity to talk with Liz Bowling, a new-traditional (read, not 18-22 years-old) undergraduate student at Emporia State University in Kansas, recently about her experiences in Rob Cattlet’s fall Economics 101: Basic Economics course.
- Jen Domagal-Goldman, National Manager, American Democracy Project
By Liz Bowling, Emporia State University (Kan.)
City of Emporia Clean-Up & Recycling Days
On Saturday October 1st of last year, I had the privilege of participating in the City of Emporia’s Clean-Up & Recycling Days. I worked alongside other volunteers from Emporia State University, local businesses, organizations and individuals from Emporia at the temporary transfer station and recycling center in Santa Fe Park.
After slipping into my gloves and safety vest, I made my way around to the different containers designated for tires, wood, metals, cleaners, chemicals, paints, T.V.s, computers and computer parts, and trash, which would have been headed for the landfill if we were not here. There were a couple of volunteers who offered their trucks and fuel to take several loads of usable items to area thrift stores. With more people using their intellectual and physical talents, along with more dumpsters there would have been even less items going to the landfill.
This was a wonderful life-transforming experience! In return for giving five hours from my Saturday, I have gained a personal accountability to a higher standard of activism. From now on I will no longer be able to plead ignorance, or sit back and let others do all the work.
I thought that it was enough that as a recycle artist I have created entire shows from utilizing 95 percent refuse that I took from local business trash bins and other recycled materials. This is good; however, it is simply not enough!
After my experience on Saturday, I am committed to doing more through volunteering, educating, and/or donating money and supplies. I will become an engaged citizen. I have several ideas about ways in which to educate the public, campaign for changes, and fund-raise and ideas about ways to involve the youth and our school systems. I am dedicated to researching, manifesting, and implementing these ideas. I believe that other citizens of Emporia, like me, would be interested in opportunities to assist in solution-changing-events such as Clean Sweep II. However, they have to be given the opportunity to become aware of the enormity of the situation and the long-term ramifications of the problems that we are facing personally, environmentally, economically, and globally.
About Elizabet (Liz) L. Bowling
Liz has been “a creative” her entire life; it is what sustains, supports and nourishes her mind, body and spirit. She has been a professional artist for the past 22 years. Liz began at Sterling College (Kan.) and then ventured to UCLA. Since then she has been at IUPUI, Baker University (Kan.), the University of Oklahoma and is currently a student at Emporia State University (Kan.) where she is taking a class in economics that has extensive civic engagement elements as part of the American Democracy Project.
Art and writing have always been a big part of Liz’s creative life. She is currently working on several book projects. By nature she is a self-proclaimed assemblage artist. Her eclectic and unusual palette includes: clay, wood, wire, fibers/cloth, bone and recycled materials, found objects, cardboard, paint, and anything discarded (e.g., trash) that can be utilized and revitalized.
Being an assemblage artist for many years, she has utilized found objects and the art of recycling through out my career; however, what began as a necessity has become a dedication to living life with integrity and personal accountability. She believes that we live in a world where a large number of people live with the “disposable society” mentality. Too quickly, we throw away. We throw away useful items; we fill our landfills with materials that can be recycled and put to good use. Many in our society tend to quickly throw away their values, their relationships, family, children, friendships, the elderly and disabled in the quest to obtain more, bigger, better, more improved things.
As an educated individual, Liz is dedicated to helping to make this world a better place. Educating myself about the application of non-toxic and environmentally safe products in partnership to recycling is a foundational part of my creative process. As a spiritual being, Liz has committed her life to that of seeking knowledge, growth, accountability, personal and professional integrity, and unfolding naturally into authenticity. Her entire life is about building bridges and using her creative talent to connect and inspire others.