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scrounge: /skrounj/ informal verb: to actively seek [books] from any available source

I think I'd have to give Trash Revolution: Breaking the Waste Cycle a positive rating even if it was only because of the number of times it inspired me to type the randomest things into Google to find out more about them: edible/compostable spoons, Suzanne Lee (growing her own fabric!), Landfill Harmonic (instruments made from trash!), The Ocean Cleanup, and more.

This book is organized into several sections that cover some of the most common things you might find in a typical backpack, such as food, paper, clothes, electronics, etc. It then details how most of the materials are produced, and what typically happens to them after they are discarded, as well as lots of statistics along the way. The "how it's made" part was pretty interesting to me, as well as information about which materials can be recycled, and to what extent (I didn't realize there was a limit to the number of times some materials can be recycled, whereas things like glass can be recycled an indefinite number of times).

While the book clearly has an agenda devoted to promoting less waste, I don't think that's such a bad agenda, and I didn't find the tone preachy or heavy-handed. The text is laid out well, covering the major points in small sections, and also highlighting interesting people and organizations that are devoted to reducing their waste production. There are also lots of illustrations, which are especially helpful during the multistep descriptions of material production.

Although sources aren't "cited," there is a list of further resources at the end, as well as an index. Here or there I questioned some information -- for example, on page 13 we're told that "organic" food means it's "grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides" -- while I'm quite sure that organic crops can still use pesticides, and all of them are made of chemicals.

But overall this was a well organized tour of the "waste cycle" that many of us are a large part of, and an inspiring look at how much less wasteful we could be, and should try to be.

(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)

Format: Kindle
Author: Erica Fyvie
Illustrator: Bill Slavin
Pages: 64
Content Advisory: None

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