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Sierra Magazine: Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.
The Green Life: Branching Out

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January 30, 2006

Branching Out

Junk mail tree

Hector Dio Mendoza, whose 15-foot Styrofoam tree was featured in the November/December 2005 issue of Sierra, has a new medium for his arboreal art: junk mail.

Raw materials weren't hard to come by: Americans get 42 billion pieces of junk mail a year, the equivalent of 100 million trees. The San Jose-based artist collected 50 pounds of catalogs, credit-card offers, and other unwanted mail to create a 17-foot tree that will tour the San Francisco Bay Area.

Dio Mendoza, who has also sculpted birds, coral reefs, and other natural icons out of the non-biodegradable materials that threaten the environment, calls his work "a commentary on how we live in a consumerist society. If you want to know about a society, you should go visit its city dump."

Find out how to get off marketers' lists at stopjunkmail.org.

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