What’s happening with your eco-pledge

THIS THANKSGIVING DAY I gave special thanks to NEW England Wax members who jump started my plastics project. You contributed my first eco-pledges! You gave me the courage to take the project forward. “Scrappy” spent summer and fall outside Highfield Hall in Falmouth, MA. You might be able to find your pledges here.


By July 4th, 2020:  500 

By November 1st, 700 

By fourth of July, 2022,  new goal of 1,000


Most contributors live in the U.S., but people in Germany, Italy, Brazil, Switzerland,England, Wales and the Philippines also contributed.  Almost all pledges came from one-on-one live or email conversations with people or volunteers I know.

Most pledges are from women, and almost all are from adults. 


Kids will have to clean up the ecological mess we are leaving them. A Clark University grad and I created a discussion/activity workshop for 8-13-year olds which help kids understand how plastic trash in their homes can make its way to the ocean and harm sea creatures and how they can help. 

At the end of each workshop, each of the children writes their own eco-pledges on a piece of plastic and Velcro it to a fish.

Our first workshop was for Ecotarium campers this summer, and other gigs are lined up


Pledges are a cross-section of all the behavior changes we have been encouraged to make: in our homes, and about food, transportation, the environment, water, plastics, agricultural products and activism.  

ADVOCACY/ACTIVISM PLEDGES stand out because each reaches groups, which multiplies the impact.  We have more power in groups.


  • will try to influence at least five friends to buy only recycled/vintage clothes.
  • will encourage his soccer coach to get kids to recycle their plastic water bottles after practice and find some way to get reusable bottles for the team.
  • interviewed me about The Snowball Effect Project for her youtube video (a 10-year-old Philippino girl). 


  • will compost and prevent food waste at school and events.
  • started a neighborhood environmental group and recently lobbied for Citizens’ Climate Lobby goals with her Maine senator.
  • is a member of 350.org and promises to become more active now.
  • will work with the local grove meant to promote green projects.
  • said I am a surfer and am time-limited. I will give $300 to 4ocean.org. I like their concrete, hands-on approach.
  • try to have one conversation daily about some aspect of climate change.

Scrappy’s friends, below, await new pledges. We know that 70% of carbon emissions are caused by 100 corporations. The fish forms are to remind us that we need many—millions, and more—of us small fish to be able to stand up to the big fish corporations which are not doing their part.

The fish form also represents fish! We do not want there to be more plastic in the ocean than fish by 2050. 

The U.S. is still the world’s biggest plastics waste polluter. It is often said that where CA goes, so goes the nation.  

I am encouraged by these laws and proposed changes there.

  • Over the summer, CA passed AB 793, which requires companies that produce anything from bottled water to soda and sports drinks to use 15% recycled plastic in their bottles by 2022, scaling up to 50% by 2030.
  • In 2022, Californians will vote on the California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act, which among many other improvements, would shift the increasing cost of handling non-recyclable packaging from residential ratepayers to the companies that make the products.

Thank you again for your generous participation.  Let’s hope for a safe and better year.

To find out more about The Snowball Effect Project and to participate: https://thesnowballeffectproject.org/home-2/


Snowball Project

This mini-slide presentation details how to participate, how to help  create the human effect of a snowball gathering force as it rolls downhill. Viewers are invited to text me, 508 254 6873, one or more new eco-pledge of their choosing.   The goal is to get 500 eco-pledges by the end of this summer.  On May 27th, 112 people have made 227 pledges.  Please help.  Because it matters.

Experimenting with Encaustic Pours

I like to experiment. I think that may have been the single most compelling reason I felt called to art. Art gave me the chance to investigate things—colors, sizes, materials, shapes, spaces, and the interior forces that drive me.

I suppose I could take classes to learn all these techniques I experiment with, and probably learn much faster, but that would take all the fun out of discovering new things for myself. With these pours of molten wax, I am also working with randomness–which I prize–because of the randomness with which events in nature seem to occur. The pours, and the manipulation of the wax through use of a pencil torch, give me a feeling of watching a universe being born. Few experiences are more awe-inspiring.

I hope you will enjoy this little video of the encaustic pour. It adds another technique, another tool, to the creative toolbox.

Pat Gerkin