By Elizabeth MerinoARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
“First, I started this campaign because I want to ban plastic bags on campus. I do not understand why people could not live without plastic bags. They might make your life easier, but how about the Earth?” asked junior Tsz Hin Tang when describing his FORM Gallery #PRIDEnotPLASTIC.
Tang, president of Students for a Greener Hofstra, thought of the project under the guidance and inspiration of his club advisor, Neil Donahue and his experience as an international student in America.
“I was surprised by the large amount of plastic bags consumed by Americans. I have always wanted to do something to educate people on the destructive power of plastic bags,” said Tang.
Tang held a “Plastic Bags in Nature” photo competition and selected the winners to appear alongside his own work.
The gallery is simple upon first look. Photographs of plastic bags strewn between tree branches, invading piles of leaves and laying on pretty beach shores cover the walls. It’s when you look at the photographs collectively, the ones you miss by your feet and above your line of vision, that you realize the photographs of the bags literally represent how we see plastic bags in our every day lives.
If we don’t look down or up, we don’t see them. And even when we do see them, it doesn’t really resonate as much within us. It’s as if trash along the highways, our backyard fences and school parks has become normal. Plastic bags should not be a part of our society.
“The fact is you are helping to destroy our Earth when you support using plastic bags,” said Tang.
My favorite photograph seems to be shot at dusk. A large, wispy tree illuminated by the last specks of sunlight would be beautiful, if a large, white plastic bag wasn’t accompanying it. It’s picture perfect, dark and eerie and ruined by our own hands. The tree didn’t put the plastic bag there, we did.
Another stand-out shot is a beautiful beach, crystal clear water and warm sunshine. The only problem, or the only problems are the two large plastic bags that will wind themselves around my feet, around the tongue of an unsuspecting seagull or the insides of a beached whale.Plastic bags not only ruin beach days, they ruin lives.
With this show, Tang not only hopes to bring more awareness to the problems plastic bags cause, but to eventually ban them from Hofstra’s campus as well.
Along with other members of Students for a Greener Hofstra, Tang has given out tote bags and encouraged others to stop using plastic bags. More can still be done though.
“What I hope people can take away from the show is the awareness of how bad plastic bags are, and to try to to create a greener world, starting from their own community,” said Tang.
If you would like to make a change, stop by Tang’s gallery to see his photographs and sign his petition to eliminate plastic bags from Hofstra. Make your voice matter.
#PRIDEnotPLASTIC will be in the FORM Gallery in Calkins Hall Monday, Nov. 3- Satuday Nov. 8.