I have composted fruit and vegetable peelings for decades, but I never thought about the stickers that are often stuck on the peelings. I assumed they were paper, and didn’t worry about removing them. But I just learned that these stickers contain plastic, and are considered contamination in industrial composting programs.
The stickers might seem like an insignificant source of trash, but it adds up. A grocery store in Sweden stopped using stickers on their avocados, and a representative said that represented “135 miles of plastic about a foot wide” in just one year. That’s one country and one type of sticker. Imagine how many fruit stickers there are in the world!
In today’s podcast episode, get lots of fun ideas for what you can do with your fruit stickers!
You can listen to my podcast episode on making art from fruit stickers in this YouTube video. It originally aired in February 2018.
New idea – found November 2018:
Where to Mail Fruit Stickers
Genny Rietze from HelloZeroWaste is a zero waste enthusiast in Alaska. All through 2018, she collected stickers to make a dress.
Barry Snyder has a website called Stickerman Product Art where he makes art from fruit stickers. His address is Barry Snyder, PO Box 301, Erie, CO 80516.
What You Can Do with Fruit Stickers
Take a “fruit sticker selfie.” – This was an idea put forward during Nutrition Month last year by Australian Jennifer Howard. She encourages people to wear stickers from the fruit you have eaten to spark conversation and she invented the hashtag #fruitstickerselfie. I like Jennifer’s campaign because as we know, there are communities where it is challenging to get fresh fruit. I live near Washington DC and there are parts of the city with almost no grocery stores.
Use fruit stickers in your Bible – Shanna Noel designs Bibles with space where people write notes or decorate. She shared a suggestion about putting fruit stickers in your Bible on a page with the verse Galatians chapter 5 verses 22-23:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Use fruit stickers in your bullet journal – Check out this videos on Instagram of a bullet journaler saving fruit stickers.
Use fruit stickers in a sketchbook – There is a book called Wreck This Journal that has a page where it encourages you to collect fruit stickers.
Teach kids about nutrition – You can use fruit stickers to teach kids about nutrition. There are many downloadable fruit and vegetable activity sheets. Sometimes fruit stickers are incorporated in a Bible School lesson based on that verse from Galatians. Or check out this cute activity with a fruit peacock by Kathrin Jebsen-Marwedel where the body was made from a pear drawing and the tail feathers were places to put fruit stickers.
Teach about mandalas, collages and mosaics – If you are an art teacher, here’s two Instagram posts that you can show for inspiration. Make a fruit sticker collage by collagesdevee or a fruit sticker mandala by Laurien Baart
Collect and trade fruit stickers globally – There is a word in French to describe fruit sticker collecting, which is “Légufrulabélophile”. There is an international community of fruit sticker collectors who trade back and forth.
Other Fruit Sticker Stories in this Episode
TED Radio Hour podcast episode called The Power of Design - Fruit stickers are an example of poor design but it wears us down until we don't notice the poor design anymore.
Amron's Vanishing FruitWash stickers - dissolves to become a produce wash which helps remove wax, pesticides and bacteria.
Fruit Stickers Instagram by Kelly Angood - She made a calendar where you can put fruit stickers to track your fruit intake
Stefano Fiorina covered fruit with fruit stickers and then photographed it. He then printed the images as giant stickers he stuck around the walls of his city.
How Machines Put Stickers on Fruit
Fruit Sticker Calendar to Track Fruit Intake
- Script for this podcast episode about creatively reusing fruit and vegetable stickers (not a transcript but gives the main ideas)
- The Trashmagination podcast theme music is Kitchen from the Marian Circle Drum Brigade.