During the lawn mowing season of April – November I regularly have to pick up wind-blown trash from the back of my property so that I don’t damage the blades of the lawn mower. (I keep planting ground cover intending to drastically cut back on the amount of water sucking cultivated grass that is on my property, but until that transformation is complete, mow I must).
In the past several years my attention to what we’re doing to our environment has resulted in several practices to cut down on the amount of garbage I put into the landfills. I recycle all materials that can be recycled. I compost all food waste from my kitchen and after its been composted it gets turned into my vegetable gardens. I will no longer buy plastic water bottles. I keep all reusable containers and store food in them as much as possible rather than use plastic wrap. I do not purchase or use disposable plates or cups.
Despite my efforts I still generate quite a bit of garbage, and I am increasingly aware that a significant number of people are not recycling any of the things they throw in the trash and so the amount of garbage they send to the landfills is exponentially, frighteningly increasing. The amount of human generated debris I’ve witnessed laying in the area alleys, streets and parking lots initiated this idea of “introducing” the WayMaking Cairn to the almost infinite array of things that we regularly toss away. I liken it to an archeological dig in real time. What can we learn about ourselves, our lives, our consumption habits, our use of and regular, seemingly thoughtless discard of the resources in our world? In every photo, there has been absolutely no staging or re-arranging of the trash found in my explorations. The only staging within these images is the placement of the cairn itself to create what I hope is an interesting composition that draws the viewer to a deeper contemplation of this aspect of our lives and our world.