Walking in a lush forest surrounded by towering trees is truly one of the most relaxing feelings there is. Danish artist Thomas Dambo has replicated the same calming effect it brings using plastic waste in Mexico City with his "Future Forest."
Dambo transformed three tons of plastic into what is now one of the most colorful and vibrant forests in Mexico. It features replicas of trees, animals, flowers, and just about anything people can find in a forest.
In an interview with Lonely Planet, Dambo said that he sees his art as a form of sustainable activism and a kind of campaign that would change how people look at trash. It proves that what used to be smelly and ugly can be changed into something beautiful.
By creating this forest, Dambo aims to inspire children of tomorrow to work with trash and look at it as something that is beautiful and valuable. He also added that the changed outlook on trash can change the way people buy and disregard things.
About The Future Forest
The man-made forest in the bustling Mexican capital was made with the help of "Pepenadores," or people collecting trash, their children, an elderly home, an orphanage, more than 700 students, and an additional 100 volunteers. The forest made from trash spans over 500 sq. meters and took eight weeks to make.
The artist condemns that people who collect garbage are ranked low on the social pyramid and earn very little. These "heroes" are responsible for making sure that a large part of the daily waste gets recycled and that people don't drown in their trash.
The forest is not just there to create mindfulness over the issue of plastic waste. It is also a tribute to garbage collectors who do not get the respect and recognition that they truly deserve.
Displayed in Chapultepec's botanical garden, the wonderful sight is now ready for visitors to explore. Dambo said many people did not initially believe that something as magnificent and imaginative as the forest was made from trash.
The said project was made with the help of local organization Festival Flores Y Jardines, or FYJA, who aided the artist in his vision. The organization also hosts workshops attended by children where they could make flowers from trash that would be displayed in the forest. This is their way of spreading awareness on the importance of recycling plastics and saving the environment.
Although it is not the first time trash has been turned into art, the exhibit has garnered many positive comments and will run for months.