Local artist advocates for cleaner environment

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WEST PEORIA, Ill. — A local artist is livening up the city and taking steps to creating a healthier environment.

Jessica McGhee of West Peoria, has taken her love of art to the next level.

She uses something that may not be the most attractive to some and turns it into something beautiful.

McGhee picks up trash daily, but instead of putting it into a receptacle bin she uses it to make art. 

“For me as an artist I tend to see the beauty in things that maybe people wouldn’t always see beauty in, so for me it’s just another thing I can use to make art,” McGhee said. 

What begins as plastics, straws and more ends as a masterpiece. 

 However, her knack for trash stems deeper than artistry.

“With garbage going to the landfills, we’re going to overflow our landfills, we’re going to run out of room. We keep making plastic and that’s not going anywhere it takes about 400 years for your average piece of plastic to disappear,” she said. 

She says you can find trash everywhere and that a lot of it ends up in the ocean, directly affecting sea life and indirectly affecting our livelihood. 

“It’s a really big problem and for people who think that it’s such a big problem that nothing they do matters, no what you do does matter,” McGhee said. 

Helping to create a cleaner earth could be a simple as cleaning up around your neighborhood. 

 McGhee says you don’t have to change the world with one huge step and that little steps matter.

“Living in the city you kind of forget how beautiful the world is, so yeah it’s just important that we preserve that for future generations,” she said. 

 Jessica McGhee also teaches children about the importance of keeping the environment clean.

You can connect with her at the Riverfront Market on Saturdays, where she also sells handmade trinkets and jewelry from plastic and other objects she has found in and around the community.

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