This book was especially interesting to me, because it’s a subject that I have little knowledge about. I haven’t ever really given much thought to the harmful effects that our garbage is creating. Some points in the book that I thought were really interesting was when he talked about the guy ‘Big Mike’ that worked at the Puente Hills landfill. Edward Humes discusses the details of landfills, stating that ‘Puente Hills is so sprawling that it has evolved its own ecosystem and nature preserve, spawned multiple community organizations formed to kill it, and holds enough strata of methane-spewing decomposing garbage to power a hundred thousand homes’. It amazes me that there are people in the world like Big Mike that can work in landfills and not give a second thought to the insurmountable destruction that it is doing to the ecosystem.
There is an event on campus happening the week after break that focuses on garbage elimination. It’s an event where you carry around all of the garbage with you that you accumulate throughout the week in a trash bag. You have to put everything in that you would otherwise throw away. At the end of the week, the person with the least amount of trash wins. This event is really an eye-opening experience in terms of realizing just how much trash we accumulate in a short amount of time. The American way is so in tune to ‘bigger is better’, which in turn is ultimately hurting the earth that we live on.