Thursday, October 25, 2007

An American Self-Portrait: What Our Trash Really Looks Like

Photographer Chris Jordan has created a brilliant collections of images that represent the damage we do to our Earth in a striking, disturbing, and thought-provoking way.

Below three of Chris Jordan's photos depict two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.

Two million bottles

Partial zoom of the same image

Full zoom

Of American consumerism and his work, Chris Jordan says:

"The pervasiveness of our consumerism holds a seductive kind of mob mentality. Collectively we are committing a vast and unsustainable act of taking, but we each are anonymous and no one is in charge or accountable for the consequences. I fear that in this process we are doing irreparable harm to our planet and to our individual spirits.

As an American consumer myself, I am in no position to finger wag; but I do know that when we reflect on a difficult question in the absence of an answer, our attention can turn inward, and in that space may exist the possibility of some evolution of thought or action. So my hope is that these photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry. It may not be the most comfortable terrain, but I have heard it said that in risking self-awareness, at least we know that we are awake."

To learn more about Chris Jordan and his photography, watch his Colbert Report interview.


Laura said...

Kick a$$ post! I love it. Chris' words are so eloquent and poignant.

Thanks for blogging! Your ideas have me thinking about my own plasticity and how I can evolve. I have been taking my lunch to work in Kerr jars (glass, canning jars)for a while. I also wrap sandwiches and bread in men's handkerchiefs.

LifeLessPlastic said...

Wow! That's great to hear. I've been bringing my lunch to work in a small cookie tin and it's been working quite well.