Jersey City Art Exhibit Examines Environmental Issues and Helps Launch New Product
Bag the Habit unveils its first reusable shopping bag in a  month-long art exhibition exploring the environmental repercussions of common consumer behaviors.  The show will run from June 14th to July 14th at Lex Leonard Gallery in Downtown Jersey City (opening reception June 14th, 8PM). Along with Bag the Habit’s signature tote, a  limited edition line of bags created by recognized artists and designers will be for sale.  The proceeds of the latter will be donated to New York City’s Gaia Institute.
Paper and plastic disposable bags are a hot topic among environmentalists, and more recently legislators, due to the damaging ecological effects of both their manufacture and disposal and the excessive rate at which they are consumed. 500 billion to 1 trillion are used worldwide each year, with the US responsible for an estimated 100 billion (
The show, titled REDUCE, highlights the impact of single-use bags as well as other disposables similar in method of production and volume, such as cups, napkins and plastic utensils.  Through symbolic works, informational displays and short film, the exhibit brings attention to the items we habitually overuse, and often overlook, on a daily basis.
By combining the functions of “store” and “gallery”, the creative team (Curator Nyugen Smith, Holly Tienken of Design Grace and Bag the Habit’s Liz Long) hopes to promote more thoughtful consumerism. “Helping people understand the true value of a product is not what  conventional stores are known for”, says Smith. “We are creating a new kind of retail model”.
Long adds, “As people accept the fundamental importance of reduction, their buying habits will change. They’ll avoid wasteful products and by-products and the demand for responsible, low-impact choices will grow. The disposable culture won’t survive.”
Thursday, June 14, 2007