My pal Sven Eberlein recently reviewed Jeremy Irons’ new eye opening documentary film, Trashed. Ever since humans have been around we’ve been creating waste. Over the years, however, we’ve started creating waste that won’t break down. In an attempt to get rid of mounds of garbage and debris, some communities are turning their trash into dioxin, one seriously toxic chemical:
“The ingenuity with which technologically advanced Western societies have attempted to get their over-consumption out of sight is on full display in Europe, where Irons visits French and British communities living near state-of-the-art trash-burning ovens (aka incinerators). Their smokestacks don’t belch out plumes of black smoke; instead they emit invisible nano particles of dioxin, the most toxic chemical there is. Irons points out that dioxins were used in the US military’s Agent Orange sprayings during the Vietnam War, the effects of which are on display in a particularly harrowing leg of his journey to the birth defect room at the OB/GYN Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.”
That’s some upsetting stuff. Fortunately, if we can bring ourselves to face this issue as scary as it is we won’t have to look too far for solutions:
“How could one American city be converting 80% of what would otherwise end up in dumps, gutters, and the ocean into valuable new resources while the rest of that nation is hovering around 35%? Irons quickly finds out from the city’s zero waste coordinator Jack Macy that San Francisco’s success is the result of political will, good organization, smart technology, down-to-earth collaboration, and a commitment to education. In other words, it could be done anywhere, and without miracles.”
Check out Sven’s review here, and let’s start making the small changes in our own lives that can add up to a huge impact. -S.