For one month I collected all paper, plastic, and metal packaging that I generated from consuming food. Each week I filled at least one brown paper bag with trash. As the weeks went on, my collection overtook my porch. On average, I consumed twenty-five pieces of packaging each week. The average American creates 4.6 pounds of trash a day. Of those 4.6 pounds, less than a quarter is typically recyclable.
As I became more aware of my trash usage, I began to imagine what would happen if everyone had to collect their trash. Where would people put it? Would people rethink their food choices by realizing the wasteful enormity of average consumption? After purchasing a new item, shiny packaging is so quickly ripped off and crumpled up into the trash. In one instant its role morphs from being an alluring encasement to being untouchable, dirty, and useless.
Through writing and illustrating this book, I wanted to invite people to rethink their opinion on trash. What better way to do that than to start with children? I created a children’s book called, “Trash Boy”. The book stars 2nd grader, Owen: a boy who collects trash and repurposes it. He enlightens other people of trash’s potential to be turned into useful objects and changes his town for the better.