Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Were You There? Highlights of Our "Springing Affair"
We sprouted, we blossomed and now we're springing ahead.  Here are the highlights of our Third Annual Fundraiser, "A Springing Affair."

  • Our first ever "honorees" former Councilmember Robert Jackson and his chief of staff Sarah Morgidge stepped on an actual soap box and spoke passionately in support of Skraptacular's mission and urged us all to protect our planet

  • Two generations of Skaptacular interns were everywhere at once-working the room as servers, leading people to the silent auction items, and selling raffle tickets

  • Robert Jackson was our spirited raffle leader and picked out the winning tickets from trays held by beaming interns. Raffle prizes ranged from an edible arrangements centerpiece to hand-made eco journals and wallets to a Fairway gift card.

  • Enthusiastic and super-talented LaGuardia High School guitar-bass-drums trio-- Angus Seager, Ethan Cohn and Andres Valbuena--kept the mood lively with jazz standards and improvised jams

  • Attendees bid on forty-two auction items, from whimsical table lamps to acupuncture treatments, an Aveda Gift basket and box seats at the Mets.

  • Everyone may not have gone home with an auction item, but everyone went home wearing a decorated bottle cap pin, all fashioned by the children at United Palace afterschool program

  • Wine and champagne flowed, hors d'ouevres circulated and people made new connections and forged new friendships

Most of all, Skraptacular got a boost of support, energy, and, most important, funding, both from those attending and those who couldn't be there but who took the time to donate. You can still support us by donating here.


 Photos by Susan Sermoneta

Plan Now for a Skraptacular Earth Month!

Those of you who came to "A Springing Affair" or who send us encouraging emails, like our Facebook posts and share our news are our "early adopters." We appreciate you so much. You are our base, and we count on you to spread the word to all your friends and contacts. While every day is Earth Day for Skraptacular, April has become Earth Month for the general public-a way to remind all of us who share this planet just how much we need to respect and protect it.  

 Fort Tryon Park Heather Gardens

Here's a list of what we're doing next month for Earth Month. This same list will be on our Facebook page. Please share it with your friends, we can have 12,000 friends who also feel that every day is Earth Day!

Saturday, April 5th:  Shearing of the Heather Gardens. Hosted by Friends of Fort Tryon Park Trust. A community event with Skraptacular craft table at which we'll be fashioning upcycled flowers out of colorful Kleenex boxes and paper scraps.
Pedal prep volunteers needed. See video.

Sunday, April 6th: Spring Melt Detox begins to benefit Skraptacular. April 6-11

Saturday, April 12th: Cooper Hewitt International Museum of Design. Skraptacular will be guest artist creating Skraptacular funky and original table arrangements.

Thursday, April 17th: Time Warner Center in Columbus Circle pre Earth Day event. Skraptacular will have a table to raise environmental awareness.

Tuesday, April 22nd:  EarthDayNY Skraptacular in Union Square partnering with Trashion Fashion Shows.

Saturday, April 26th:  Jamaica Bay Clean-up American Littoral Society and Skraptacular partnership. This event will be promoted on the Jack Johnson website and FB page and on The All at Once site. Drawing for free tickets to Jones Beach for people who attend clean-up. 

Sunday, April 27th: Fort Tryon Earth Day Extravaganza with Skraptacular, Swedish Marionette Theater and others. 

Skraptacular's "A Springing Affair" is One Fun Night Out...
And a Chance to Do Good!

 A Blossoming Affair 2013

Dear Friends,

You don't really have to wear "trashion fashion", pants woven out of plarn (plastic bag yarn) or sustainable shoes! Just bring your well-intentioned fun-loving self over to the airy Mark Ferri Studio from 5 - 8. Have a glass of wine (you know we'll save the corks to make something Skraptacular!), and enjoy the view. Sample some hors d'oeuvres served by our young Skrap interns, listen to smooth jazz by talented LaGuardia High School musicians, meet some like-minded new friends and bid, bid, bid, on our eclectic auction items!


You'll also have the chance to meet and honor former city councilmember Robert Jackson. For 12 years Jackson represented the 7th District in Manhattan, which includes Harlem, Washington Heights and Inwood.  Chairman of the Council's education committee from 2006 to 2013, he is heralded for co-founding the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, a lawsuit to obtain fair education funding from the state for New York City schoolchildren.

We, at Skraptacular, also hail Jackson for casting the decisive vote to ban single-use Polystyrene containers from city schools, restaurants and food carts. Almost impossible to recycle, the plastic-foam cups, trays and containers, have been clogging our local landfills for years. And we're excited to honor Jackson's former Chief of Staff, Sarah Morgridge, who fought passionately alongside him to serve constituents and support public school families realize their right to educational opportunity

"It takes a village," as the cliché says, and like many clichés, they circulate again and again because they are so true. We're pleased to have Robert Jackson and Sarah Morgridge in our village and hope you'll join us, too.

Every dollar we bring in at this, our major fundraiser, goes to support programs that further our mission of combining creativity and conservation: we teach children and community members across all five boroughs how to make arts, crafts and science from trash!

See you tonight @ 307 West 38th St. Studio 2003 (20th Floor)! Thank you so much for your continued support.

Michelle Del Guercio

P.S. - It's great if you can purchase tickets in advance, but you can also just show up, too. Ticket prices are $30 each, either way. If you can't come, consider donating. Every little bit helps us SPRING up and out across New York City.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Sneak Peek at "A Springing Affair" Silent Auction Items
We're running our auction the old fashioned way-a silent auction with paper and pencils and for which you have to be at the event in order to participate and bring home valuable, lovely, and one-of-a-kind gifts like....

A Way to Have Your Steak and Eat it Too
 Brykill Farm Organic Beef Certificate - $100 Value

Time with New York's Favorite Tech Geeks
Two-Hour Consultation at TekServe - $200

Year-Long Membership at New York's Secret Gardens
 Wave Hill Family Membership - $75

Add a Splash of Spring to Your Home with 
Whimsy Designs Table Lamp - $75
Spectacular Skraptacular Original Art
Unique Upcycled Offerings from Skraptacular's Interns - Priceless 

Luxurious Beauty Treats from Premier Organic Salon and Spa
 Aveda Gift Basket - Value?

Clothing that Feels Good-and You Can Feel Good About
Loomstate certified organic and sustainably produced clothing Gift Certificate - $100

....and More! Get your tickets (only $30/each) to our third annual fundraiser, "A Springing Affair," on Thursday, March 27. Drink, eat, listen to live music, bid on one-of-a-kind items, honor former city councilman Robert Jackson and chief of staff Sarah Morgridge for helping get Styrofoam out of our school cafeterias and for their work on behalf of New York City Public Schools by founding the Campaign for Fiscal Equity. We'll see you there-the drinks are on ice. 

Spring MELT Detox Week to Benefit Skraptacular! April 6 - 11

Now that it truly is spring-and we have finished drinking our champagne-it's time for a spring detox. The MELT method is a gentle way to bring new space and movement to your joints, improve your posture, and stimulate your organs to discharge built-up toxins.  Everyone can do it, at any age or level of fitness, in the comfort of their own home or office.
Join Edya Kalev, Advanced MELT Instructor, for 6 days of MELTing your hands and feet by phone and all proceeds will benefit Skraptacular.  What a great way to detoxify, support your immune system for spring and support us as well!  There is a $40 investment in the ball kit and the minimum suggested donation is only $10.  For more information, go to Edya's website.
Forward this email to friends all over the country or world; Anyone who has a computer or phone can participate at any time during the day-from the health-conscious and active who want to improve their performance in running and other fitness activities to those who would like to be more active and who are just now realizing they have to do something to decrease pain and age well.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Skraptacular Bulletin: Fête, Festival, Fun...But What Are you Giving Up?


Fling Your Mardis Gras Bling...and Then Upcycle It!

In the never-ending winter we hope you've managed to celebrate Mardis Gras or Carnival. Take the last opportunity to step out of the Annual February Misery Day Parade and high step it into a Mardi Gras March! Skraptacular has a soft spot for NOLA's Mardi Gras celebration; we got our start selling upcycled crafts to benefit Hurricane Katrina victims.

So if you're done with the February fling and done with the beads and bling, here's a way you can transform your Mardis Gras beads into some nifty coasters. Another option is to recycle or buy recycled Mardi Gras beads and throws from Arc and do your part to create “Green” jobs for people with intellectual disabilities.

But what if you're giving up wine and beer for Lent? You don't have to be Christian to adopt the discipline of the Lenten season in the same way you don't have to be Buddhist to learn the discipline of Zen meditation practice. Lent begins this year on Ash Wednesday, March 5th and extends for forty days until Easter.

What Are You Giving Up?

According to the experts it takes exactly 21 days in succession for you to make new behavior into a habit. If you stick to Lent guidelines, you've got almost twice that time to make helpful behaviors a part of your life or get rid of harmful ones. At Skraptacular we have some suggestions (don't we always?)

What if you...

1. Give up taking plastic bags at the grocery store?
2. Weave the plastic bags you have into plarn-plastic bag yarn-creations?
3. Compost your veggies every Sunday through GrowNYC ?
4. Own a corner of the city and clean-up litter?
5. Stop buying bottled water?
6. Make clothing purchases from ethical fashion brands such as, RepurposingNOLA andLoomstate

Skraptacular's Work with United Palace is Habit Forming 

We're starting our own new habits. Rather than visiting the underserved children who come to the  United Palace Cathedral's after school program every other week, we're going every week, bringing our Skrappy interns who are full of enthusiasm for every project we embark upon. This week we made bottle cap refrigerator magnets, some of which we'll be giving out as party favors at our Springing Affair fundraiser. In addition to the unalloyed happiness of using their hands making crafts, our young charges learn to wed the concepts of creativity and conservation. It's a win/win situation.

Friday, February 21, 2014

School Trays Made of Sugar are Sweet News to Us

 School Trays Made of Sugar are Sweet News to Us

Did you know that disposable polystyrene foam goods enjoy a usage time of only about 30 minutes but, whether incinerated, landfilled, littered or recycled, they leave a trail of toxic particles that last forever?

So Hip Hip Hooray! New York City and five other large school districts-Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami and Orlando-agreed to purchase environmentally friendly lunch trays for their schools starting this fall. The round biodegradable plates are made of a sugar cane byproduct. The Urban School Alliance's bid for over 271,000 million of the new trays will keep that many more million carcinogenic, polystyrene trays out of our landfills.

The move away from single-use polystyrene to "green" trays could never have happened without the work of grassroots movements, such as Cafeteria Culture, founded by public school mom Debby Lee Cohen. Starting in 2009 Cohen and her kid-driven program began agitating for action, often staging protests with large puppets made of Styrofoam. Fifteen other city groups joined with them in their cause, and the result: in December 2013 The New York City Council voted Yes for Intro 1060 to ban disposable polystyrene foam-not just in schools but in restaurants, and food carts.

Examples like this are so inspiring for us at Skraptacular-showing how much can be done when like-minded community members band together and get youth involved in actions that save our planet. What are you doing?

Who Were the Greenest Presidents in the White House? 

While kids revel in a week away from reading, writing and 'rithmetic, let's remember that this is "Presidents Week." Skraptacular would like to remember the presidents who have done the most for our environment. Do you know who they are? Here are four...

  • George Washington can be considered our nation's first colonial composter. His "repository for dung," was the first of its kind in our nation. Washington also introduced crop rotation and used many land conservation measures after seeing the damage tobacco wreaked on Virginia's soil

  • Both Roosevelts conserved our national treasures. Theodore Roosevelt created the first National Bird Preserve at Pelican Island, FL, and he established the U.S. Forest Service, creating more than 190 million acres of new national forest, parks and monuments. As part of the New Deal, nephew Franklin Delano Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps, which provided work for millions of unemployed men, who planted billions of trees, built our hiking trails, cleaned up streams and constructed more than 800 parks across the nation.

  • Richard Milhaus Nixon is best known for being forced out of office due to the Watergate scandal, but we can thank him for several environmentally friendly acts and policies; he created the Environmental Protection Agency, signed the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, the Safe Drinking Water Act of 1973, and the Endangered Species Act of 1974.
Honor your favorite eco-president by placing his portrait in a DIYup-cycled newspaper frame

Click here for more info on eco-prezzies 

 As of today SPRING is only one month away, which means our SPRINGING AFFAIR is coming soon

Friday, February 14, 2014

Skraptacular Recycles a Tried-and-True 
Tradition in Westchester

Remember bringing an old shoe box to grade school and covering it clumsily with tissue paper, construction paper hearts, lacy doilies and lots of Elmer's glue? You made a ragged slit in the top, with a blunt scissors, and waited to see what letters, or candy hearts, you would find within.

On Sunday, February 9th , Skraptacular recycled this venerable tradition with the Girl Scouts of Larchmont and Mamaroneck. Over 70 girls and women attended three Mother-Daughter Eco-Valentine's Box Workshops. We asked mother-daughter pairs to bring in old photos, pieces of jewelry, old letters and more to make a box that might, in time, become another treasured family memento. Skraptcular provided salvaged boxes, paper scraps and glue, and the mothers and daughters provided the creativity, shared memories and love.


Skraptacular is happy to work with more Girl Scout troops, especially ones local to Manhattan. Please contact us if you are involved in a troop and are interested or know of a troop that could benefit from Skraptacular. What better way to earn a "Conservation" Badge?info@skraptacular.org

...And in Manhattan: Workshops for United Palace and Dream Catchers

Skraptacular continues to donate workshops to underserved communities, bringing the Eco-Valentines Box making workshop to two groups in Upper Manhattan. Yesterday afternoon, we brought our boxes, glue, scraps and enthusiasm to children at the United Palace Afterschool and Enrichment Program. While this week is Eco-Valentines Box week, we are donating five weeks of Skraptacular workshops to this group of underserved children in the Northern Manhattan community. At Skraptacular we show that it doesn't take money to make art. The materials are all around us, often in our trash cans. But it does take some guidance, and that's what we can provide.

Today we will work with Dream Catchers, a Special Delinquency Prevention Program (SDPP), which provides a creative arts program for at-risk girls ages 13-18, and we'll come back to work with Dream Catchers every ten weeks on different projects.



Thanks to your generosity, we can continue to reach out to communities like Dream Catchers and United Palace Afterschool and Enrichment Program. Your funds, volunteer time, attendance at our events and interest in our work sustains us. As a special Valentine's Gift, here's a Hearts & Crafts activity just for you and/or your little ones (or you can be inspired and make your own eco-Valentine's box)! Hope your day is filled with love (and candy).                                                     


Skraptacular Announces Partnership with
Jack Johnson's From Here To Now to You Tour

Dubbed "The World's Mellowest Superstar" by RollingStone Magazine, Jack Johnson is a world-renowned singer-songwriter, surfer, filmmaker, and musician who has made it his mission to improve our planet. With his wife he created the Johnson Ohana Charitable Foundation, which is one of our major grantors.

Now Skraptacular is teaming up with Jack Johnson on his 2014 From Here To Now To You Tour and All At Once, a social action network connecting nonprofits with people who want to become active in their local and world community. All At Once comes to life online atwww.AllAtOnce.org and at the Jack Johnson concerts where you can get educated, get inspired, and connect face-to-face with us and other local and national non-profits. All At Once promotes sustainable local food systems and plastic free initiatives.

Look out for more information on our one for one matching grant and our appearances at Jack Johnson's Jones Beach and Prospect Park concerts in June.

All At Once 2013
All At Once 2013

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Tribute to Pete Seeger

A tribute to Pete Seeger

"If there's a world here in a hundred years, it's going to be saved by tens of millions of little things."- Pete Seeger
Pete Seeger, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee - Down by the Riverside
Pete Seeger, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee - Down by the Riverside

In 1966, the year I was born, Pete Seeger, in despair over the pollution of his beloved Hudson River,  announced plans to "build a boat to save a river".  The sloop Clearwater was one man's vision to start a grassroots action that played an important role in the passage of laws to clean up our nations waterways . Pete Seeger is my hero and my inspiration for bringing people together to increase environmental awareness.
In celebration of this great man's life let's all take small steps to craft a more sustainable, eco-conscious existence on our amazing planet--from bringing your own bags to supermarkets and refusing more free tote bags--to creating one-of-a-kind artworks from would be refuse.  

Save the Date!! 
Our third annual fundraiser, A Skraptacular Springing Affair, will take place on the evening of Thursday, March 27th  at 307 West 38th St(between 8th and 9th, 20th floor). We hope you will join us in celebrating our achievements of the past year and helping us raise the funds that will allow us to accomplish our 2014 goals. This fundraiser comes a week into Spring-which can't come soon enough this year-and features a silent auction with items ranging from an iPod Touch to original art, live music, food and drink and lively company.