Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Instantaneous" trash

I apologise for the non-thought-out nature of this post; there's just a lot going through my head and for once I can't wait until it is the weekend! 

One kind of trash I am particularly struck by is the sort of "instantaneous" trash, i.e., the trash that comes out of an activity so small on a time scale, that it is truly meaningless and avoidable and selfish. (If you have a better name for this kind of trash, please let me know.) I am talking about how at BTB (formerly Big Ten Burrito), the worker will put a burrito in a paper bag, followed the person that ordered the burrito instantly taking it out of the bag, sitting down literally two feet away from the register, eating the burrito, and throwing away the bag. I have seen this numerous times. Another example is the trash that comes out of just a moment or an event. This past Saturday was the annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor, which left the town literally drowning in trash, as you can see here.

This touches on a previous experience I had in Chicago, as well as on some things I thought about a long time ago about why we trash - we honestly don't think about more than just ourselves or the small group of people around us.


  1. Hello! I came across your blog from Bea Johnson's zero waste home blog. Looking forward to reading more. This is a great post and touches on a topic which bothers me a lot. I often ask for "no bag" with my burrito, bagel, etc. I do encounter a lot of "are you sure." etc, but I simply nod and let them know I am trying to minimze my waste. I hope one day, getting a bag is more out of the norm t han not getting a bag.
    - Tanny

  2. Tanny,

    Thank you for your thoughtful words. What is your story? Please let me know if you have any suggestions for things you'd like to read, or things I'm missing.

  3. I am one of the people trying to make a difference from the inside a large's tough and I find I often reach out to all these online blogs (you, Bea, Beth, Marc Gunther, etc.) for support. Thanks for posting daily - it truly is a breath of fresh air when I see the constant waste around me and no second thoughts about it.