Reduction

June 9, 2012

Recycling bin with recycling materials for disposal

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

I have been recycling for decades.  I believe this to be extremely important given the amount of trash that is discarded by humans each year.  I also firmly believe that it is important for each of us to do our share to combat the tonnage of material we toss.

Floating trash in the Inner Harbour

Copyright 2011 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

There certainly is no shortage of books related to this subject.  As part of an assignment, I have begun to read No Impact Man:  The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet and the Discoveries He Makes about Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process by Colin Beavan.  I had already been reading Garbology:  Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes (of which I have written about previously.)  Both of these works dovetail with the trash photographic project on which I have been working for the past 2+ years (as I have also blogged about previously.)  This post will not repeat the statistics regarding the amount of product that is trashed-please do read Garbology.  The numbers are astonishing.  More to the point, Humes details the techno-politico-socio-cultural processes in the United States that have created this mess.  Quite simply, this is our fault and we are the ones responsible for fixing it.

Dumped trash bags in inner city lot

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

To that end, I have used my photographs in several presentations and they do not fail to get people’s attention.  It is vitally important that we see what we have seen so frequently that it is overlooked.

Clamshell package atop parking kiosk

Copyright 2011 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Newspaper debris on city street

Copyright 2011 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Used Target plastic bag in street

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

And I recycle.  Pat myself on the back and keep going.  However, after having started to read Beavan’s book,  I was struck by my own hypocrisy.  Yes, I do recycle, and that is helpful.  However, once I stopped and seriously looked at the amount I am recycling, my failure at the first part of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle became readily apparent.  Shameful, actually.

"Danger" tape along highway

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

I can and need to do more about my own consumption so as to also reduce the need for recycling.  We all do.  The danger is greater than most think, as discussed here.

"Danger" tape along highway

Copyright 2012 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Yes, it really is.

Take care.

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