Earth Day Project: Street Sheet

Earth Day Project: Street Sheet

by Arnold Grummer

Arnold Grummer Paper Educator Author, Instructor

April is the month of Earth Day, a good time for Earth Day projects. 

The point of Earth Day is to do good to, and for, the environment. 

One part of this is to limit stuffing junk into the earth with landfills.

As a symbol of limiting landfills, and to honor your Earth, make a “street sheet” this month. 

A street sheet gathers up odds and ends that would normally be discarded, then keeps them out of the earth by putting them into a sheet of paper.

This is great fun and makes a truly attention-worthy sheet. 

Also, it can be a type of portrait of your home, a street, a park, etc. 

For instance, I went down Appleton’s College Avenue and picked up discarded items along the sidewalks and on the street next to the curbs. Then I put these items in the pulp in the deckle of my pour hand mold, and made a sheet.

A Street Sheet ‘snapshot’ of College Avenue in Appleton, WI

Because the final sheet incorporated all of the College Avenue items, it was a type of accurate portrait of the street. In a way, it was also a portrait of the people who used the Avenue. It reflected their choice in what they purchased and used. 

What might be found in a street sheet? Some of mine show ribbons, gum wrappers, threads, window screen bits, candy wrappers, grass clippings, flower stems, cigarette package parts, and what looks like an old shoe string. 

Making a street sheet is similar to adding botanicals inclusions to handmade paper. See how easy it is to do in this video

Street sheets can be fabulous and draw fabulous reactions. Gather bits and pieces lying around after a party or anniversary celebration, and make an amazing ‘snapshot’ paper for the hosts’ photo album.

This year observe Earth Day by making a street sheet, or at least recycle some landfill-bound paper into a beautiful new handmade sheet. 

Remember our motto: “Use paper twice — Earth says ‘Nice’. 

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