9.20.2011

Waste Pitch


My hatred of waste is well-documented in this space. And yet I have much to learn and much to go in this area. Tom Szaky's "Revolution in a Bottle," which is about his firm, Terracycle, explains that trash is a modern Western phenomenon and that it imposes significant costs on the planet in the form of massive amounts of undegradable materials in our landfills and even in the middle of our oceans. I am reminded of my brother-in-law's extended family's plantation in southwestern India, which is completely sustainable in that it requires no running water or electricity and generates no waste.

In contrast to that, my family easily generates one or two trash cans' worth of trash, plus two or three bins of recyclables, every week. Not to mention the trash I throw out at work or anywhere else. I am spurred on by Aaron's new teacher, who has a "zero trash" policy in the classroom (there are no trash cans) and who teaches her students about composting. I may never get to "zero trash," and my wife still needs some convincing on the composting, but I am more aware, and I am taking baby steps. I hope you will too.

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