Numbers aren’t very useful in helping us figure out how much trash we throw out each week, but one photographer has found the perfect way to portray our throwaway culture. “7 Days of Garbage” is a powerful series of images by Gregg Segal that shows people lying in a week’s worth of their own household waste. It forces us to question the amount of unnecessary packaging we use, how much we waste, and the consequences of our actions when it’s all added together.
Here’s a description of the project from the photographer himself:
7 Days of Garbage is a series of portraits of friends, neighbors, and other acquaintances with the garbage they accumulate in the course of a week. Subjects are photographed surrounded by their trash in a setting that is part nest, part archeological record. We’ve made our bed and in it we lie.
It’s clear to see that there is a lot of garbage in each photo, and that’s just for one family. Burying our waste in landfills is an ineffective solution, and when you consider how much space the trash produced by the entire population takes up, it’s clear we have a ticking time bomb on our hands.
There’s no point feeling guilty, but neither should we try and shirk responsibility. All we have to do is take a few extra seconds to think about what products we buy, how much plastic waste they produce, and how easy they are to recycle. If the majority make a few painless changes to the way we consume, there’s a good chance we can avert a very unpleasant situation for future generations.