Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Story of Stuff

Like it or not, these viral videos are catching fire.
When I tried to find the origin this morning, I hit a wall. The site is down.

Google cache has a backup.

This is Video Number One.

Here is Number Five.

There are seven videos in all. I doubt many people will take the time to see them all. Nut jobs and people from the lunatic fringe like me may do so, but the majority of people I have known are so caught up in the "stuff cycle" that they have neither the time nor inclination to escape. They are like the people in this video.

But should archivists come across Hootsbuddy's Place some day in the distant future, I want to be numbered among those who saw it coming and tried to do something to avert an implosion of historic proportions.

My three decades in the food business can attest to a breathtaking amount of waste. No restaurant can operate without a good-sized dumpster that has to be taken away two or three times a week, a pumper-truck to empty the grease trap at least quarterly, and a daily delivery of disposable packaging in which patrons carry away food to be eaten elsewhere. I once figured that for every pound of food we sold about twenty pounds of garbage was sent to the landfill. That does not take into account the tonnage sent through the garbage disposals in the dishroom, kitchen and potsink. Add to all of the above dozens of refrigeration compressors keeping freezers and coolers operating twenty-four-seven, maintenance costs, and an endless number of smaller vendors whose services are necessary to the operation...window cleaners, landscaping, CO2 deliveries, even services to take away the sanitary napkin recepticles in the ladies restrooms and shine lavatories and urinals while they are there. Time, labor, transportation costs, cleaning all adds up. And it all has to be paid for by the price of the product.

This American Life dedicated one program to The Middle of Nowhere. The prologue featured endless floating masses of human garbage, mainly plastics, that can be found floating in the world's oceans.

Host Ira Glass talks with sailor and researcher Captain Charles Moore about a gigantic area in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, as far away from land as you can get, that is filling with plastic trash. There are five spots like this on the world's oceans. For more, check out Captain Moore's website. (3 minutes)

Here is a You Tube video about the phenomenon.

This will be the 1st posting of segments depicting Human Impact on our world ocean. The program documents a project in CA toassess plastic debris loading in urban runoff. The introduction of an action plan for addressing marine debris "trickle down" from watersheds.Humans need to consider ways of stopping the flow of plastics and trash in urban runoff.

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