Saturday, February 27, 2010

Opaque or translucent?

I'm reading a book right now called "Garbage Land: On The Secret Trail of Trash," by Elizabeth Royte, an acclaimed science writer. (She is basically following garbage men/ trucks around New York City to understand how trash is taken care of and where it is put... very, very interesting book.)

The following is an excerpt that, for some reason, I found fascinating:

"I suspect that many people feel guilty about the volume of their trash. As I became more educated about garbage, my feelings of shame and guilt grew. There was stuff in my barrel, like those stained linen napkins, for which I'd failed to find further use. When I'd brought this stuff into the house -- a new shirt, healthy food, a really fun toy -- it was live weight, something was proud to have selected and purchased with my hard-earned money. Now the contents of the bag were dead weight, headed for burial.

No wonder we prefer opaque garbage bags. And no wonder that recycling bags, which flaunt our virtue, are often translucent."

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