Pulitzer price winning author Russell Baker once said ‘The American dream is to turn goods into trash as fast as possible’. Let’s throw it away, we use to say. But ‘away’ doesn’t exist … ‘away’ is always ‘elsewhere’. Trashed is a documentary that follows Jeremy Irons through once beautiful destinations that are now converted to landfills. He sets out to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem, as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution. This is a meticulous, brave investigative journey that takes Irons (and us) from skepticism to sorrow and from horror to hope.
10 small things to keep in mind (from the movie’s web site)
- Take care of your teeth and the environment at the same time. Changing your toothbrush every three months works out at roughly 320 toothbrushes per person over the course of their life. But where do you think these end up? Opt for a non-plastic toothbrush.
- Have a nice (for the environment) cup of tea. 165,000,000 cups of tea are drunk in the UK every single day. Thats a lot of teabags! They are only between 70-80% biodegradable. The rest is made of polypropylene. Change your normal teabag for a fully-biodegradable one.
- Use your local greengrocer or farmer’s market. Packaging in supermarkets is out of control, especially with fresh fruit and vegetables. Shopping at your local farmer’s market or greengrocer not only cuts down on plastic packaging but it is also likely to cut down on packaging used to transport the food.
- Don’t drop your cigarettes butts. Cigarette butts contain millions of toxins that are especially deadly to marine life. There are easy and eco-friendly ways to deal with this – one of them being a portable ashtray (or … don’t smoke at all !).
- Join a local beach clean-up group. In the past 21 years, volunteers with the International Coastal Cleanup have cleared millions of pounds of litter from 211,460 miles (340,312 kilometers) of coastline worldwide. That distance is the equivalent of going around the Earth eight times!
- Take re-usable bags to the shops. Five trillion plastic carrier bags are produced each year. Eventually, more than 98 per cent end up in landfill. About 200 million litter the countryside. Millions more find themselves in the sea and in the stomachs of marine life. Get into the habit of taking your own bags to the shops.
- Get creative with wrapping paper. 8,000 tonnes of wrapping paper is used each year – the equivalent of approximately 50,000 trees. And most of this ends up in landfill NOT in recycle plants. Get creative and look around you for other ways to present your gifts,.
- Spread the word ! One of the most important things we can all do is to tell friends, family, colleagues, anyone who will listen, about how important it is to reduce our waste and help make our planet cleaner and safer for all. Inspire people by making changes yourself and hopefully they will follow!
- Switch from disposable to cloth nappies. 3 billion disposable nappies are thrown away each and every year in the UK, 90% of these are landfilled. Using cloth nappies takes some getting used to but the individual difference it makes is huge!
- Stop using disposable plastic bottles. We throw away 200 BILLION litres of water bottles a year. Need we say anymore? Why not invest in a re-usable bottle? The same thing goes for your daily morning coffee – why not invest in a reusable cup rather than throwing out a disposable one every day?
You can see Trashed yourself by streaming it directly to your computer (Vimeo, MyMovies) or from iTunes.
‘That plastic bottle in your hand will feel as dangerous as a molotov cocktail’. – New York Times