Garbage Land

Lately, I’ve taken an interest in recycling.  Okay, I guess it’s not really an interest so much as a fetish. I’ve been taking my recyclable bags to work and training my co-workers to recycle their plastics, cans, paper, and cardboard.  I empty the bag at my local recycling center when it gets full, but my ultimate goal is to approach the owners of my company and find a way to get the whole company to recycle.  I may sound a little obsessed, but you’d be just as avid about recycling as I am if you read Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte.

Elizabeth Royte's novel
Elizabeth Royte’s novel

I honestly can say that this book has absolutely changed my life. With her journalistic style, she delves into the land of trash and uncovers a wealth of information about the growing amount of garbage American consumer society produces.  I’ve actually written a book review for this piece, and I’ll post it in the Print section later.  If you’re at all concerned about the environment, the effect plastic has on our landfills, or your health becoming endangered by the growing number of chemicals in the groundwater, you should absolutely try this out.  Royte also has another book, Bottlemania, that discusses the ethical question of selling bottled water, the effects of plastic bottles in landfills, and the strange fascination Americans seem to have with buying bottled water rather than drinking out of the tap. I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but I’m excited to learn what Royte has discovered in the plastic bottle department.  Until then, I’m going to keep drinking out of my Nalgene, avoid bottled water, and recycle whatever plastic I can.


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