Our research team spends a lot of time thinking about trash, talking about trash, even dreaming about trash (yes, really). And we love films about trash, garbage, waste, our material culture, and any of the other titles for the whole system.
We want to share our favorites with you, starting today with one you can watch online right now for free: Annie Leonard’s The Story of Stuff. It’s a wonderful analysis of North America’s relationship with stuff, a great first stop for any garbage geek or “social garbage networker”, as our co-founder Liesl Clark has taken to calling herself.
It’s easy to find this subject of waste depressing, but it does not have to be. Choose to look at the full reality, that we can change things for the better, and that we’ll magnify our impact by working together, and you’ll hear the hope in Annie Leonard’s final statement from this short film:
“All this work is critically important but things are really gonna start moving when we see the connections, when we see the big picture. When people along this system get united, we can reclaim and transform this linear system into something new, a system that doesn’t waste resources or people.
Because what we really need to chuck is this old-school throw-away mindset. There’s a new school of thinking on this stuff and it’s based on sustainability and equity: Green Chemistry, Zero Waste, Closed Loop Production, Renewable Energy, Local living Economies. It’s already happening.
Some people say it’s unrealistic, idealistic, that it can’t happen. But I say the ones who are unrealistic are those that want to continue on the old path. That’s dreaming.
Remember that old way didn’t just happen by itself. It’s not like gravity that we just gotta live with. People created it. And we’re people too. So let’s create something new.”
(Annie Leonard, Story of Stuff annotated script)
Trash Backwards is our first large-scale contribution to this “something new”, and we hope you’ll join the reuse revolution! Together, we can embrace the wise old adage “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” and have a great time doing it.
So please come and try our answer to the problem of too much stuff, our Trash Backwards app where you can input any item in your home or backyard and find reliable reduce, reuse, repair, regift, and recycle ideas for that item so we can delay its journey to the landfill.