I am super excited to announce that I have an opinion piece recently published in the online magazine Hyperallergic, on the state of contemporary recycling. Please check it out!!
As I’ve spent the last few months finalizing Year of No Garbage the book, I’ve continued to learn more about contemporary recycling, and the outlook is, well, bleaker than I ever previously realized. When you read the piece, you’ll see what I mean.
The bad news is that as individual consumers, the game is rigged against us. Bamboo toothbrushes and reusable bags are great, but I’ve come to realize that no amount of lifestyle changes by themselves are going to be enough to slow climate change or make the oceans clean again or fix environmental injustice. We can’t recycle our way out of this. It’s going to take legislation.
But part of the problem with achieving the popular support that will be required for such legislation is that it’s a difficult mental leap from garbage to climate change: what does my disposable plastic bag or coffee cup have to do with global warming?
Tell everyone you know: disposables have everything to do with climate change. Plastics are fossil fuels. Plastics are fracking. Plastics are the famed Cancer Alley in Louisiana. Microplastics are showing up not just in our bottled water and food, but our poop, babies placenta, the air we breathe- you name it. We are literally killing ourselves and the planet with our addiction to convenience.
The good news is that we can do this. Once people make the connection that something is really, really bad for us, no matter how hard corporations try to lie, mislead, or muddy the waters, the truth still comes out, and thats when you get actual change. It happened with cigarettes. It happened with sugar. It is about to happen with plastic.