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Messages in the Bottles


This project is intended to raise consciousness about the effects our daily choices have on our planet.

The messages I have collected from the general public and sealed inside the bottles are pieces of advice for future generations (your grandchildren), warnings about the effects of our actions (Handle with care!), wishes that we could have done something different in the past, some hope for the future, quotes or facts about environmentalism, interconnectedness, the effects we are currently having on our only home, planet earth.

The toxic pollution pumped into the atmosphere as a by-product of manufacturing millions
of polyethylene water bottles has contributed to a climate that is killing many trees globally.

Bryan Northup, Oak Park, IL

Even though these trees are dead they are filled with life


We must remember:
To plant a tree for each one chopped,
To use tap water instead of bottled,
And reusable water bottles.
To help save our planet Earth.
We must save Earth because it is our home.

Rachel Kralik,  Age 8, Oak Park, IL

Always leave it better than you found it.

Sherrie Northup, Foresthill, CA

Art is Wonderful


Fix the people who litter by making a sign that says no litter

Ella Klem

Please do not litter it is bad for the environment and the earth

Mya Johnson

Don’t listen to the bad comments believe in yourself

Julia, Age 8, Oak Park, IL

Don’t litter. If you litter there will be a whole lot of garbage.


If you mess up don’t give up. Just keep trying.

Kaleyah, Age 8, Oak Park, IL

Think like a dolphin and the right doors will open.

Lily Rooks, Age 9, Oak Park, IL

Smile everyday for you make it beautiful.

Victor Prado, Age 8, Berwyn, IL

This is our home (Earth), it takes everyone to help treat it right. Please recycle.

Stacey Jackson, Forest Park, IL

We only have one Earth and we have to keep it clean.


My message is that you should always be kind to the earth. Our future will be better if you help.


“Be who you are and say what you feel,
because those who mind don’t matter
and those who matter don’t mind.”

Dr. Seuss

We are still trying to learn “just because you can doesn’t mean you should”


“The world is not to be put in order; the world is in order.
It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.”

Henry Miller

We are dependent on toxic plastic.


These bottles will still be here in 1,600 years.

L. Hunter

Try to do everything you can to help nature or it will effect our lives greatly along with animals and plants

Laela Chaloemtiarana, Age 9, Oak Park IL

I hope one day people create a way so there is no litter on the ground.
Its the opposite of helping nature.
Imagine a world with no trees. Now think about that.

Elise Borel, Age 9, Oak Park, IL


The lifespan of a disposable plastic water bottle is 450 years.


Recycle! Go green


Be nice to everyone!

Elilia Chomicz, Age 9, Oak Park, IL

Remember if you litter you are hurting yourself.

Alicia , Age 11, Oak Park, IL

I wish that in the future the world will be more clean.

David Klem, Age 11, Oak Park, IL

It’s not just people who suffer from your choices.


Every little act, good or bad, times one thousand, makes a difference.

Lincoln, Age 10, Oak Park, IL


We need to take care of the earth. I hope the future will be a greener earth with more recycling and less littering. Because our generation is very into technology, i feel that the state of earth is often overlooked. Most people look at a computer instead of the amazing earth.

Anna Russell , Age 11, Oak Park, IL

STOP buying bottled water!


If you want to change the future, remember this, the future depends on what you do in the past.

Jessica, Age 8, Oak Park, IL

Please recycle then you will be an awesome kid

Yoshi, Age 9, Oak Park, IL

Don’t Litter

Leo K., Age 11, Oak Park, IL

Be Good, Be Green

Celia Yates, Age 9, Oak Park, IL

Don’t use up the things the environment gives us.

Kayte Ashton, Age 9, Oak Park, IL

Drinking water should be free, not a bottled commodity.


Just drink tap water, reuse one bottle.


Eat this message after reading. Better for the environment.

Jen McNulty

The Secret Ingredient is Always LOVE!


If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it.

David Sobel

It’s not for money, it’s not for fame.
It’s not for any personal gain.
It’s just for the love of fellowman.
It’s just to send a helping hand.
It’s just to give a tithe of self.
That’s something you can’t buy with wealth.
It’s not medals won with pride.
It’s for the feeling deep inside.
It’s that reward down in your heart.
It’s that feeling that you’ve been a part.
Of helping others far and near, that makes me be a Volunteer!

Stacy Babich



Hey world!! We didn’t really think about the effects on our planet earth when we starting enjoying the convenience of plastic bottles and other parts of our vast throwaway culture… We have to retreat to an earlier time, which will be so hard to do, but we better get with it if we want to save the earth and our oceans.

My highest praise to Bryan as he breathes ‘life’ into this dead tree – he has fused his political, environmental and artistic vision into a striking statement which we need to listen to!!   

Marion Sirefman

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

Native American Proverb

Careless actions have tremendous impact.
Consumers have the power to make change. Do not let corporate greed and wealth determine our environmental future – all the money in the world cannot buy us another Earth.

Linda DeViller

Earth is what sustains the human race…we are in partnership with her for our future. Recycle, reuse, RESPECT!

Karen Herman DeMuro

We the Congregation of St. Joseph promise to recognize the reality that Earth is dying, to claim our oneness with Earth and to take steps now to strengthen, heal and renew the face of Earth.

 Joellen Sbrissa

“Usually when people are sad, they don’t do anything. They just cry over their condition. But when they get angry, they bring about a change.”

Malcolm X

Be aware of your shopping habits! Tap water is, thankfully, safe & readily accessible in the Chicago metro area.  Other items might be available in glass, as opposed to plastic.  Reduce waste to protect our global future!!!

Suzanne Vestuto

Global warming contributes to acidification in our oceans which is killing populations of fish, shellfish, coral and other sea life.

Bobbie L. Raymond

I started to recycle at 16 with my first pay check shopping at a resale shop in my hometown. I have been blessed or (according to my husband) cursed with never throwing anything away or leaving any find unclaimed.  Society has spoiled and cursed us with the urge to acquire new things.  We need to reuse, reclaim and recycle.

Deborah Stoklosa

TODAY is Yesterday’s Tomorrow

Bryan Northup

Live simply. And tread softly upon the resources of this great planet that we share.  It is a small world and we are all in this together!

Susan Yackley

Life is Simpler for Those Who Cherish It.

Carolyn Cullen

When I was a kid, we never drank water. It was tea or milk at the table. When they started selling water in bottles, I thought it was hilarious. Water came from faucets, fountains or rivers and lakes. Sure water is healthier than sodas and such, but healthy for us and healthy for the planet is the same thing. We need to think about how to drink water without hurting ourselves.

Rise Sanders-Weir

I lived in Southern California from 2005-2010 and was warned off of the tap water right away. So, bottled water it was. Exclusively. For 5 years. It’s absurd, right? It was just what everyone did. I am complicit in making the bottled water industry hugely profitable. Not so much anymore, but why didn’t I question this habit for five years? I’m now 46 and one benefit of getting older is having learned a lot of lessons. In this case (and likely many others) just because someone, or some company or advertisement tells you you need something, not only is it not necessarily true, very often it is completely the opposite. And if it feels wasteful and wrong, that’s because it is.

Jackie Lakely

I have rarely bought bottled water in the last decade, but I now pledge to this tree to never buy it again!

Elaine Miller

Go on! Drink your purified vitamin water and live longer than anyone else so you can see what your choices will do to the planet!

There’s a fundamental disconnect when people only think about themselves and their health and don’t care about the health of their environment.


Don’t be so easily brainwashed people of the future!


Most people don’t know that the “pure” water they are buying has been sitting in a plastic bottle made from petroleum byproducts.
How healthy could that be?

The bottlater industry is raping the planet and we’re paying them to do it

When people see a plastic bottle or bag on the side of the road they don’t realize that it’s going to last longer than a concrete and steel building and outlive them by a factor of seven.


“Don’t be in a hurry to condemn because he doesn’t do what you do or think as you think or as fast. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.”

 Malcolm X


Plastics have only been in existence less than 100 years and already the pollution from this man-made toxin is threatening every part of the planet.


If water were meant to be wrapped in plastic, imagine how different our oceans would be.

Gina Robbins

Plastic is a potent toxin.


All bottled water came from a tap somewhere. Wouldn’t you rather know which tap?


The Hundred Languages

No way. The hundred is there.

The child is made of one hundred.
The child has a hundred languages
a hundred hands
a hundred thoughts
a hundred ways of thinking
of playing, of speaking.

A hundred always a hundred ways of listening
of marveling, of loving
a hundred joys for singing and understanding
a hundred worlds to discover
a hundred worlds to invent
a hundred worlds to dream.

The child has a hundred languages
(and a hundred hundred hundred more)
but they steal ninety-nine.
The school and the culture
separate the head from the body.
They tell the child:
to think without hands
to do without head
to listen and not to speak
to understand without joy
to love and to marvel only at Easter and at Christmas.

They tell the child:
to discover the world already there
and of the hundred
they steal ninety-nine.

They tell the child:
that work and play
reality and fantasy
science and imagination
sky and earth
reason and dream
are things
that do not belong together.

And thus they tell the child
that the hundred is not there.
The child says:

No way. The hundred is there.

-Loris Malaguzzi (translated by Lella Gandini)

Founder of the Reggio Emilia Approach


Religion, politics, money are all frivolous pursuits without clean air to breathe, enough water to drink and a planet we can live on.


It terrifies me to think what we are or aren’t leaving for our grandchildren and their future. Why have we waited so long to listen about our environment and what we could do to save it? If each one of us stopped using bottle waters and started using appropriate reusable containers that would make a huge impact on the start of changing, for the better our world for our kids and grandkids. Take that first step and continue to change the many other things that affect our environment. Challenge yourself and others to be responsible!

Marcia Wingert

You are making a difference right now!  Choose well.

John Wesley

Life is a choice. Design is a choice.

Sally Riessen Hunt

Dear FuturePeople: We tried to take care of her as best we could, once we knew. It was hard, but it worked. And it was worth it.

Ana Garcia Doyle

Advice for kids in the future: play outside, make things from leaves, climb trees, feed rabbits!


On living a good life: Laugh. Laugh with whoever, whenever, however, wherever, whyever you can. Laugh because I just tried to make whyever a word!


Thank you Mother Earth for taking care of us. It is our turn to take care of you.

Jim Doyle

They say life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% how you react. Global warming is that 10%, 90% is up to you.


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