The Trash Blog

Still Sticking Our Nose in Garbage

Today, the Trash Blog celebrates the anniversary of our garbage travels. One year ago, we hit the road: we had way more junk than we needed (near-life size statue of the Holy Family, extensive library, etc…), we had no idea what happens to an apple in the landfill, and thought we would be living in St. Louis by August.

This is when we really realized

Don’t wait until the night before you leave to pack for a four-month road trip.

We headed south at an ungodly hour to meet with the Shaka of Caca–an administrator of animal poo at the Seattle Zoo. The warmth of summer hadn’t reached the Pacific Northwest yet, and our first nights camping were startling.

Take that dinner!

Take that dinner!

Throughout the summer, camping continued to be a humbling experience. I nearly died in a campground bathroom in Oregon; some campsites were not very hospitable, while others were beautiful but subject to severe weather; the park rangers and our fellow campers were always a source of excitement. But by the end of our travels, at least, we had learned how to light a fire.

It may look like I'm sleeping, but really I'm still under the impression that I'm dead, crushed by the storm.

It may look like I’m sleeping, but really I’m still under the impression that I’m dead, crushed by the storm.

Road-tripping around the US asking people about garbage is a great way to get know our country a little better. There are people who work with garbage, who make art out of garbage, who study garbage, who drive garbage around, who get angry about garbage, make fortunes from garbage, who find salvation in garbage, and even some folks who build houses out of garbage.

Just doing some complicated calculating in search of 'the truth'... And if you trust my numbers, you don't want to know how my college calculus course went....

Just doing some complicated calculating in search of ‘the truth’… And if you trust my numbers, you don’t want to know how my college calculus course went….

Although people often giggled when we told them we roadtripped around the US looking at garbage, it was no surprise that almost everyone had a pretty serious opinion about waste and what we should do with it. We picked up lots of interesting tidbits about garbage, but found no panacea. Garbage is a complex issue.

dumping 4If you are concerned about wastefulness in the US, we learned that the easiest change that may bring about the most noticeable results is keeping organics out of landfills and incinerators.

Luckily, we still have a lot to learn about garbage, especially when it comes to babies. So here’s to another year of trashblogging!

The great thing about a deserted national landmark is that there are no other pesky tourists to ruin your Kodak moment.

The great thing about a deserted national landmark is that there are no other pesky tourists to ruin your Kodak moment.

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This entry was written by Philip and published on May 4, 2014 at 8:18 pm. It’s filed under Camping, Trashblogging and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Still Sticking Our Nose in Garbage

  1. Uncle Chris on said:

    Here’s to another year!!!!!!!!!!!

    Here’s to another generation!!!!!!!!!

    Here’s to you two!!!!!!!!!

  2. Uncle Chris on said:

    “Garbage is a complex issue.”

    Here’s hoping that you wrote exactly what you meant.

    “Complex” is an adjective that, when used correctly, implies the ability of the associated noun to be subdivided into simple parts. On the other hand, “complicated” is an adjective that, when used correctly, implies the inability to reduce the associated noun to simple parts because the noun refers to something that is non-linear, convoluted, inconsistent, or problematic.

    The best teachers (those who, among other things, have mastered the material they teach) break subjects, which may appear complex initially, into simple parts to facilitate understanding of the whole by their students. My checkbook is complex, but easily understood when taken as a sequential series of additions and subtractions. Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity, along with public school financing are complex, but not complicated, topics.

    Marital relationships are complicated, as is the mystery of the Trinity and God’s love for us.

    Thus, when you claim that garbage is complicated, I find hope in the implication that it can be understood by subdividing the whole of trash into simple parts. A system of dealing with trash predicated upon the priorities such classifications might produce and the practical methodologies associated with each sub division would be a satisfying objective for the Trash Blog.

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