I think most of us know we produce too much trash. We’ve seen horrifying images of enormous landfills, seen pictures of garbage-strewn beaches…
And yet we take our own full trash cans to the curb every week and somehow think that there’s still some mysterious “away” where we’re throwing this stuff.
Photographer Greg Segal wanted to bring awareness to this phenomenon of our daily lives, and shine the spotlight on the broken systems that make our garbage problem so difficult to solve. So in January of 2014, he began photographing friends, family, and complete strangers in natural settings, surrounded by the trash they accumulated in just seven days.
Seeing these pictures has made me more aware of my day-to-day consumption habits. I realized how much packaging is involved the microwave lunches I take to work, in the groceries I buy from the store, and the things I buy online – packaging which just gets thrown away, or, at best, recycled. I realized, I don’t want to know what my personal 7 day trash pile would look like. In fact, I’ve been inspired to make a change, even if that just means starting small. After all, the best way to make a lasting lifestyle change is to start with specific, achievable goals. Here are some ideas to reduce your trash accumulation:
- Invest in mason jars, high-quality tupperware, or even save plastic food containers from the store
- Use reusable packaging for your brown bag lunches
- Cook at home just one more night per week
- Buy bulk foods at the grocery store, and store them in your own containers
- Switch to a reusable water bottle
- Bring your own reusable bags to the grocery store
- Get some neighbors to collaborate on a small-scale compost pile for food and yard waste
What are your ideas for reducing trash accumulation? Would you be embarrassed by your own 7 day trash pile? Let me know in the comments!
Featured photo credit: Greg Segal via greggsegal.com