I liked how the book started off with an introduction of how our garbage can kill us and over take us and even bury us alive. The story was sad but true which made it all that more impactful. I think this initial chapter gave helpful statistics and room for improvement by educating. The statistic that the average American “… throws away 7.1 pounds… of trash per day” is discussing. However, it made an impact on me to think about how much space we physically take up verses the amount of space our trash left behind consumes. I don’t want the relics of my generation to be the things we didn’t care for.. our trash. To me a relic should be something of your culture and it saddens me to think our culture is “garbage”. This book stared off fast jumping right into the real and depressing honest topics.

Not only are our waste products hurting the environment but our want for products is a driving forces in direct distraction of the environment. PAPER- the need and want for it is a chronic problem in China. I think about the products from China but I haven’t thought about all the paper required for packaging. Chung Nam’s company, Nine Dragons Paper, seems to be obvious. I guess we only see the gain in our waste when it can provide us with something we want. I.e a can is a can until you realize it is ten cents and need money. At the end of the first chapter their was a “waste receipt” that helped me mentally organize the problems.

The last statistic on the sheet is about food waste: 28 billion pounds of food is thrown away each year. This is approximately 1/4 of America’s food supply. This was a shockingly disgusting statistic. I know I myself am guilty of wasting but am making a conscious effort to cut down in hopes to cut down on the grand statistic. With the constant discussion that in the near future we will need to make more food I can quite understand why we aren’t trying to take more preventative waste measurements. If we could find a way to cut down on the food being wasted we might not be required to make as much. Are those statistics based on food people actually eat or on food people buy? This interested me and I will continue to look into this topic.

Then later in the book the discussion about the plastic in the ocean came to light. This topic is very disturbing and  ever growing… Literally. The idea that the plastic just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces is alarming. They discussed how they were able to drag the net through “seemingly clean water” and still collected plastic particles. It was also interesting to read why the trash piles in the ocean are where they are. They called it the trash that escapes.

Overall i really liked the book due to its constant facts and its user friendly tone. You didn’t have to be a scientist to read this book and I think that is one of the most important aspects of change. People without science backgrounds need to be able to read this information and understand their individual impact on the world and each other.


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