Mark Trahant: Creating a world with less garbage

"I once lived about as far off the highway as is possible in rural Arizona, surrounded by pinion and juniper. One of the things that shocked me when I first moved into the woods was the amount of garbage tossed without regard. There were diapers on the road, makeshift landfills in dry creek beds and messes everywhere.

I wanted pristine, but instead it was human waste that made the landscape less than it should have been.

Some three decades later, we humans are a lot smarter about our garbage. None of us are perfect, but I know that even in some rural areas -- where folks hardly think about such city things -- there are now bins for recycling.

The separation of waste -- recycling, reusing and tossing as little as possible -- is now a part of my routine. I remember it was only a few years ago that my family seemed limited by the weekly pickup of our garbage can. I'm optimistic because my trashcans these days are half-full.

I know we can do better."

Get the Story:
Consumer society has garbage on the mind (The Seattle Post-Intelligencer 6/9)

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