100 Drawings of Waste Challenge 2021

Drawings Ecology Environment Reflections Zero Waste

Drawings of waste by Carolina Reis 2021

During the months of February through May 2021, I compiled 100 drawings of waste. I was already aware of the amount of waste we produce, but I became even more aware of the complex challenges that waste represents. There are items that are small and seem so insignificant, but become massive on a global scale.

Still, I recognize that eliminating waste is only part of the solution, as the environmental crisis is multifaceted. Waste production is just one of the many consequences of our industrial consumer economy, that also include gas emissions, the extractive industry, dumping and spills in rivers and oceans, industrial food (fishing, livestock, agriculture...), fast fashion and design, technology obsolescence, and so many others. All these problems are intertwined and stem from our conception that all living things on earth are a commodity and of an economy based on the idea that resources are unlimited. We need to completely change our way of life to sustain human life on earth. However, waste remains, in my opinion, one of the simplest problems to solve, because it is tangible and everyone can contribute to it on a small scale by starting to consume less, choosing products without packaging and by following the 6 R's (Refuse, Reduce, Rent, Reuse, Recycle, Recover).

It is certain that if everyone consumes less, that is to say, buys fewer products, the "economy" as it is currently calculated, will be less healthy. Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that we change our current way of calculating the wealth and well-being of a society and stop basing these on the production of the GDP, a purely monetary calculation. A change of value is necessary: take into account the environmental and social destruction in our calculations of economic development, making money secondary. As long as this is not the case, we will not be able to repair the damage caused by human beings.

Waste Drawings by Carolina Reis 2021


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