As you walk around the streets of NYC, rarely do you ever stop to realize all the trash that are around you. Everyone is hurrying to their next appointment in the bustling streets, so no one is really paying attention to the litter that is piling up at our heels.
Here is a poster that I made with InDesign for my photography class about this issue.
While doing this project, even I was bewildered at how much garbage that I quickly dismissed as I rush to my morning classes every day. Without having my mind specifically set on looking out for litter to photograph, the litter around me was easy to overlook. There were garbage in parks where the squirrels would eat and might accidentally ingest the trash. There were metal cans disposed in the Paper marked garbage can, while there was one specifically for metal right next to it. McDonald’s frappe cups and coffee cups were left in train station stairways. There was litter everywhere and people are doing it without knowing the consequences, assuming that somebody else will take care of the mess for them.
The sanitation department is doing their best to dispose and clear the streets from garbage, but litter is proliferating everywhere. There must be a better way to reuse the trash that are being dumped in landfills, because there is just so much land available to fill. Landfill gas continue to produce for more than 50 years and they can diffuse into nearby buildings.
Perhaps we can develop novel ways to reuse the trash, possibly converting them into oil for usage in vehicles. RTI International has proposed Pyrolysis conversation technologies to convert plastics into fuel, which could be commercially viable in 5-10 years.
In the mean time, using canteens instead of purchasing Poland spring bottles could be a great start to reducing the amount of waste we are creating in society. Even using the backside of paper can reduce the amount of trees being cut down. While there isn’t a clear solution yet, it is aways beneficial to be mindful about litter, and hey, you can save some money while you’re at it! Let’s say you bring a water bottle for 5 days a week, and you purchase a 24ct from Costco, which would probably cost about $6. You would need to get about 43 packs of these water bottles for the full year, which would be around $260. It is convenient to just grab a bottle on your way out, but just taking a minute each day to refill your canteen can save you at least $260 a year, providing that you only use 5 bottles each week.
Every little bit counts. With a billion people in the world being mindful about this issue, there will be a chain reaction towards a better earth.