Joanna Wirażka, 16, uses leaves as canvases for her stunning landscape paintings.
"Try to find real art everywhere and let it inspire you," Wirażka told Upworthy.
According to the publication, Wirażka collects fallen leaves from a park, dries them within the pages of a book, and then "paints them black... before adding in her signature explosion of color."
But by using the leaves, Wirażka hopes to make a powerful statement about both art and our environment.
"Each year in the United States, the paper thrown in the trash represents approximately 640 million trees, or roughly 915,000 acres of forest land," according to Upstream.
So in painting on the natural leaves, and using them as a replacement for paper, Wirażka wants "to say that we don't have to cut trees to have paper for drawing or painting," she explained to Upworthy.
In the above work, composed of mainly cold green, blue, and grey hues, Wirażka captions:
"Since 1978 over 750,000 square kilometers (289,000 square miles) of Amazon rainforest have been destroyed across Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Venezuela, Suriname, Guyana, and French Guiana. Common methods of deforestation are burning trees and clear cutting. Deforestation is considered to be one of the contributing factors to global climate change. The No. 1 problem caused by deforestation is the impact on the global carbon cycle. Because of destroying rainforest thousand species are deprived of their natural home and environment."
Moreover, Upstream cites the Environmental Paper Network's Paper Calculator, explaining that "the paper thrown away each year represents... roughly 915,000 acres of forest land," which is larger than the side of Rhode Island.
If we chose to recycle this paper, it would save "approximately 27.5 million tons of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere," or the "equivalent of taking 5.2 million cars off the road each year."
It would also help maintain the forests as an ecosystem "ecosystem that provides carbon storage, greater recreational value, and wildlife habitat," Upstream reports.
And hopefully, through her art, Wirażka will accomplish her goal to raise people's awareness about our planet.