Trash and The Garbage Patch

  • Posted on: 10 February 2008
  • By: GreyHawk

On Monday, January 28th 2008, the History Channel premiered a show called Life After People.

It was very interesting.

The first segment of the show, titled Trash, provided some excellent food for thought regarding what we'll leave behind. One of the items mentioned is an abomination called "the Pacific Gyre" or "Garbage Patch" -- an area of plastic and man-made trash floating in the north Pacific, currently twice the size of Texas.

Below are two videos: the first is a YouTube segment of the first part of the History Channel special that addresses "Trash" after all the humans have gone. The second video is specifically about the Garbage Patch.

Watch them both, then think about what alternatives we have to address the following issues:

  1. Re-use, recycling and minimization of non-biodegradable resources, including possibilities of re-engineering some items and re-purposing others in ways that could mitigate the negative impact.
  2. Cleaning up our current mess: how?
  3. Living and working smarter: how can we better utilize our technology and our understanding of science and nature to live, grow and mature as a species?

There are options. Some involve rethinking, some involve changing habits and some involve altering expectations. One resource I've mentioned before is this one -- what have you got in mind?

WARNING: Some images may upset people, particularly in the second video.

You've been warned. :)

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Life After People -- Trash

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The Garbage Patch
(An article from the Seattle Times from 2006 for those who'd like to read more.)

Global Climate Change is simply one piece of a much larger puzzle. It's a big piece, and one with a major impact, but our ongoing habits and disregard for how we continue to "develop" and clean up after ourselves threatens us at least equally, if not more, as our wastes become more deadly and our apathy results in the whole planet turning into our own special toxic toilet bowl.

Comments

bottles were reused? The milkman delivered milk in quart and half gallon bottles to your doorstep. No plastic. The store used boxes or paper bags? Just reducing the packaging would help tremendously. The market I shopped at in Oregon had their meat in a case. They wrapped (in paper) what you wanted. No styrofoam trays, no plastic wrap.

We have to make recycling easy and mandatory. In Oregon, between recycling and composting you could almost eliminate your garbage.

Here is an interesting website:

The Stock Exchange of Visions project was initiated to provide a platform for the world leading artists, sociologists, activists, scientists and others to share their visions about the future of our planet with a broad public and let them decide if either they agree up on their thoughts or not.

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ePMedia ... get the scoop with us!
If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. ~ George Carlin

Life after Man

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ePMedia ... get the scoop with us!
If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. ~ George Carlin

I'll check out the sites from both comments in the AM.

We need more people to start thinking -- and change their thinking -- about products, services and consumables, not just in "recycling" and "sustainability" terms.

I've been reading Cradle to Cradle, and will try to post some of my thoughts on it soon.

I had no idea about the floating plastic island twice the size of texas... Ugh.

Hope I am not repeating something, but I heard a really interesting talk on NPR regarding a company -- I think they are in California -- who are recycling human waste. There is a major amount of filtering and then radiating the stuff. Then it is introduced into the ground and it gradually enters the ground water and is tapped for distribution to people. The guy who was interviewed said that it was sparkling and clean before it was put in the ground and that it was not distinguishable form ordinary tap water. Even though it sounds kinda ugh it really does sound like a sensible idea.

carol

Coke and Pepsi come clean about the source of their bottled water ... the tap. All the bottles contribute to the plastic waste growing every year and the consumer isn't getting anything they wouldn't get if they just added a Brita to their tap.

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ePMedia ... get the scoop with us!
If it's true that our species is alone in the universe, then I'd have to say that the universe aimed rather low and settled for very little. ~ George Carlin

we've expelled make it back into nature.

Humanure is one term for it.

It helps ensure that we're not consuming resources without returning them.