A World Without Garbage? #FoodForThoughtFriday

In 1966 the Swiss novelist Max Frisch wrote in his literary sketchbook:

“Are you sure that you are truly interested in the preservation of humanity, even if you and all your acquaintances aren’t anymore? Why? Bullet points suffice.”

About twenty years later he published a questionnaire with several questions like this. Here, he opens with the same question about our interest in the preservation of humanity, however puts the follow-up question a little different: “If yes, why are you still acting the way you do?”

This shift is interesting, isn’t it? In terms of environmentalism, we could even ask this question about the planet.

We know about climate change, why do we still buy stuff that is shipped around the world? We know about plastic in the ocean, why do we still support plastic producers with our money? Why are we still acting the way we do?

In his sketchbook Frisch further asks:

“When did you stop believing, that you’re getting smarter? Or do you still believe it? Write down the age.”

Put a little differently, you might wonder whether we actually still believe in smarter choices for our planet? Or have we given up already?

In Frisch’s spirit of opening up new areas of conversation I tried to assemble a garbage related questionnaire. It is not supposed to denounce anybody. Rather, it is a funny tool to get to know yourself a little better. However, I am a little curious. So, feel free to share some of your thoughts in the comments. Have fun! 😉

  1. Can you imagine a life without trash? Name three change of habits that would instantly reduce your trash.
  2. Do you sometimes put off bringing out the garbage because it grosses you out? If yes, why did you put it there in the first place?
  3. Do you think efficient garbage collection fosters waste reduction? Why? Why not?
  4. Have you ever thought about what life is like for a garbage collector? If yes, describe briefly.
  5. If there weren’t any trash, would it make you sad, if all the garbage collectors would have to find a different (and maybe less smelly) field of work?
  6. If everybody stops causing waste, what would that do to the economy? Bullet points suffice.
  7. Do you have enough time?
  8. If you could spend less time on managing your garbage, what would you do instead?
  9. Think about what you want to pay attention to. Is it garbage? Make a list and prioritize.

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