In 2011, the Major 3 students created a tree sculpture out of recycled plastic bottles. The project was inspired by a similar project in Haifa, Israel. In 2010, the region was devastated by the country’s worst forest fire in history. Due to the resulting tree shortage, Haifa was not able to have their traditional Christmas tree in the town’s center. To address this problem, citizens of all different religions worked together to collect over 5,400 recycled bottles. The bottles were donated to local designer, Hadas Itzcovitch, and her father, artist Ernest Itzcovitch, who used the bottles to create a giant Christmas tree. The Major 3 students wished to echo this message with their tree, looking to inspire a sense of community and festivity with an added message of recycling
Over the course of a year, the students collected bottles from the school and community, cleaning and categorizing them. The tree is composed from various plastic recycled bottles such as Poland Springs, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper, Gatorade, and Vitamin Water.
The bottles are arranged in stacked rings, creating a layered effect that mimics the branches of an evergreen. All of the bottles are hung from the tree’s inner skeleton, which is adorned with flashing lights. The lights had to be precisely wired so that the entire tree would glow. The tree is also topped with hand-painted flowers made from plastic bottles.
The tree now has permanent residence in the Design room and looks beautiful year round. Around the holiday season, the tree lights up and students have started a tradition of placing gifts underneath it!