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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If 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!