“Trashed” – 20 minute documentary about trash

by Catherine Haug, March 24, 2013

Dedicate 20 minutes of your valuable time to watch this documentary with your family. I know I’m ‘preaching to the choir,’ as our ESP community is very aware of the problems of our throw-away society. But this short film really brings it home, and I urge you to share this with others who are not as aware.

You can view it here >> Snag Films: Trashed.

Or scroll down to the embedded video player.

NOTE: the film takes 2 short breaks for a Pillsbury ad…

Next month – April 22- is Earthday; this year’s theme is the Face of Climate Change. Our overwhelming burden of trash has a lot to do with climate change, as a major portion of our everyday trash is plastic, and the manufacture of plastic is a major contributor to atmospheric pollution that fuels the greenhouse effect.

Is recycling the solution?

The process to recycle plastic contributes to the problem, as your gas/diesel vehicle pollutes the air when you take your recyclables to the recycling site. From there, more gas/diesel vehicles transport them to an industrial location where the plastic is chewed up and then chemically converted into new plastic things. And this industrial transformation requires the burning of more fuel.

Recycling paper and cardboard is more efficient and less polluting than recycling plastic, but even so, it contributes to the greenhouse effect through transportation.

Recycling glass – as in reusing soda/beer bottles to hold more soda/beer is way more efficient and less polluting than recycling plastic. However, much of our recycled glass is not reused as is, but rather ground up and then remade into new glass products, and that requires expenditure of more energy (and more pollution) beyond transportation.

Recycling metal is now big business because metals are becoming quite expensive to mine and then manufacture into useable products. But remaking recycled metal into new metal is a very energy-intensive industrial process that also contributes to the greenhouse effect.

What, then, is the ideal solution to trash?

For me, the solution is not to recycle, but to REDUCE our consumption of products that become waste. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Buy foods and cleaning supplies that come in glass containers, then reuse those containers.
  • Better yet, buy your food fresh and make your own cleaning supplies from substances that come in cardboard containers (baking soda, borax, salt, etc.), glass containers (vinegar, alcohol, etc.) or that don’t even come in a container (homemade bar of soap, whole lemon, etc).
  • Buy/make clothing made from natural fibers (cotton, wool, linen, hemp, bamboo, etc.), and avoid clothing made from synthetics (polyester, rayon, nylon, etc).

View the 20-minute film:

NOTE: if the player doesn’t appear below, you can view it at Snag Films: Trashed.

 For more information

See The Story of Stuff (and other videos)

See other, related, articles on this site:

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