The EPA estimates that we produce over four pounds of trash per day, and that we only recycle or compost one-and-a-half pounds of that waste.
Trash is the nasty by-product of living in a single-serving, convenient world. While it’s great to have well packaged convenient items, we have to responsibly dispose of that waste. Simply chucking 164 million tons of trash (as estimated by the EPA for 2011) into landfills isn’t the answer.
Reusing, recycling and composting is part of the solution but the real answer is rethinking—what is trash.
Common perception tell us that trash is dirty and worthless. Fortunately, there are artists who can help us view trash in a new and interesting way.
Trash becomes a perfect medium for the stereotypical artist, who can’t afford expensive art supplies and wants to make a strong social statement. If you want contemporary art for your living room but can’t afford gallery prices, pick up some trash and make your own art.
Need a new outfit for a hot date or job interview? Before you throw away your candy wrappers and plastic bags or water bottles take a page out of designer, Kristen Alyce’s, book and make yourself some clothes.
Alyce was initially inspired to use trash as her design medium while she was in college. She was overwhelmed by the amount of garbage she and her roommates produced. Determined to do something about it, she created Garbage Gone Glam and re-invented the way we think about re-purposing garbage. You can check her designs out here.
While you may not be inspired to make your own art or clothes from garbage, thinking about enjoying or wearing trash could make you reevaluate what trash actually is. Before you automatically throw everything into the trash, think.
Can it be re-used, re-purposed, recycled or composted?
Seems simple enough, but managing the waste in your life takes planning and work.
Rest assured, a few minutes of inconvenience will help reduce your impact on the planet.
Author: Amanda Ashley
Volunteer Editor: Kim Haas/ Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: Travis Wise/ Flickr