Edward Humes – Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash. Have you ever thought about how much trash you create? Honestly, have you ever stopped to consider how many trash bags you go through, how many trips to the curb you take, or how much food you throw out? Probably not…most of us don’t. But the sad truth is the average American produces 102 tons of garbage across a lifetime and $50 billion in squandered riches are rolled to the curb each year! Although we have become extremely efficient with keeping trash out of site, unfortunately that has kept it out of mind, and it’s creating a massive problem. This week we speak with Pulitzer Prize-Winning author, Edward Humes about trash – what’s in it, how much we pay for it, how we create so much, what’s wrong with it all and how we fix it. Edward’s amazing book, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash, is raising awareness of trash consumption and is sparking nationwide action.
Edward Humes is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and non-fiction writer. He received the Pulitzer Prize for specialized reporting for investingative stories he wrote about the US military for the Orange County Register. He is the author of 13 nonfiction books, and a contributing writer for Sierra Magazine, California Lawyer and Los Angeles magazine, among other publications. He is married to journalist and author Donna Wares and lives in Southern California.
“There is a reason we call it waste – you are throwing stuff away that has value. You are wasting it.”
– Edward Humes
Quotes from Edward:
[shadowbox]”Garbage mountain in Los Angeles makes so much methane that the power plant on top of it generates enough electricity for 50,000 homes.”
“Waste is an embedded problem in pretty much every difficult challenge we now face, from climate to energy to our economy.”
“Landfills are one of the chief sources of methane in the atmosphere, right after the petroleum industry.”
“There is a great return on investment for being sustainable, particularly if you focus on reducing waste.”
“Organic waste (food) causes the most greenhouse gas emissions when it ends up in a landfill.”[/shadowbox]
What we learn in this episode:
- Why did Walmart choose to make reducing waste a top priority throughout the company and what were the effects?
- Germany and Austria send only 1% of the their trash to landfills, while America sends nearly 70%!
- What happened when MIT students place tracking devices in random articles of trash throughout Seattle? The results are shocking.
- What is the story of our garbage? Where does it come from and where does it go?
This episode is brought to you by:
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