Art can inspire change and action to improve the environment

Each of us can promote the wellbeing of our environment. In addition to our daily choices, we can influence by creating art that evokes emotions, thoughts and actions.

I introduce here two environmental art projects that are close to my heart. Both of them were made years ago, but they’re still relevant and even more urgent than before.

There’s also an invitation for you to participate in the creation of a collective artwork!


Baltic Sea Cosmetics aka BS Cosmetics installation demonstrates the poor state of the Baltic Sea on a concrete level. The artwork was a fake launch of a fake cosmetics product line, using cosmetic industry clichés through ironic humor, asking the visitors “would you dare to put these products on your skin?”

The ingredients of the products were collected from the sea and along the beaches in Helsinki. They were for example sea water with blue-green algae (cyanobacteria), broken glass, sand, residues of sunscreen and some unknown materials.

I created a brand for the BS Cosmetics with a logo, labels and a slogan “in your face!” The poster had a picture of a dead seagull I had seen on the beach. The products were displayed surrounded by the dirty sand I brought from the beach.

BS Cosmetics is an apt name for this work because of its double meaning.

BS Cosmetics was presented on Harakka island in Helsinki in 2012 as part of a Baltic Sea exhibition. For me, the location was a dream come true: a small island surrounded by the beautiful (even if suffering) Baltic Sea, with many birds and old buildings such as studios for artists and a Nature Centre offering information on the coastal nature and sustainable living.

2. Saltwater junkfood

The other environmental art example is a photograph artwork called Saltwater Junkfood. It was displayed at the Healing the Bay exhibition in Gasworks Arts Park in Melbourne in 2013.

The photos were taken of rubbish I collected from the beach and arranged to look like meals. Saltwater Junkfood was raising awareness of the problems of Australia’s coasts and about littering in general. In addition, the photos show what kind of food we eat and what trash from them we leave in nature.

The idea for this photographic art came about when I used to walk along the beaches collecting rubbish anyway, and started to think what could be made of them. These days there’s even a term for picking up trash while jogging = plogging.


  • Litter harms the ecosystem, wildlife and human health. For example, animals can get stuck or eat litter, pollutants enter the environment etc.
  • Litter take years to break down, if they do so at all.
  • Chemicals from litter can pollute and poison soil, water and air.
  • UV radiation and weathering break plastic down into smaller particles called ​microplastics that harmfully affect living creatures and the environment.
  • Cleaning the litter costs lots of money that could be used for something else.
    And the list goes on..


“To put it really simply, litter releases things into the environment that it’s not equipped to handle, and wastes natural resources that could otherwise be repurposed.”

Kate Brierley /


Let’s create environmental art together to improve our environment and set a positive example. As a bonus, you can win a personalized digital gift!

What and why?

The idea is simple: we take photos of trash, pick them up and I’ll compile the photos online to form a collective, evolving work of art.

By picking up trash we’ll have a cleaner and more beautiful environment and we can encourage others to take care for the environment too. We’ll also see how much trash we have collected together, and what this litter says about todays lifestyle.

How and when?

1. Find a piece of trash/litter outdoors and take a picture of it.
2. Put the trash in a bin or recycling if possible.
3. Send the photo you took + your name (or nickname) and the location to or DM it on Instagram @abroadland .
If you want your website or social media account to be featured, send their links too.

I’ll add your photo to LiTTERature – the collective artwork and let you know when it’s been added.

You can also win a digital gif-gift!

If you participate before Friday 1.9. 2023, you will also enter a Giveaway Draw of two animated GIFs/Instagram stickers (one for each of the two winners) that I’ll create on a theme of your choice.

The animated image can for example relate to your brand or to some other theme you like. You can use the gif on your website, email signature, Instagram stories (it will be available in the IG sticker library and on or other places. Alternatively, of course, you can skip the giveaway and just participate in the artwork – or order the gif as a fun surprise gift for a friend!

The winners of the animated gif images will be drawn and contacted on 5.9.2023.

You can increase your chances to win and get more raffle tickets by sending more litter photos:
1 photo = 1 ticket
2 – 4 photos = 2 tickets
4+ photos = 3 tickets

Examples of GIFs

Let’s have fun and do something good for our environment together!

♡ Helena in Abrodland

© Text, photos & art by Helena J. / Abroadland
(No AI was used for creating this conten


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