My name is Megan Taylor and this is the first post of my Sophomore year here at the New School. Let’s Begin!
In this assignment, I have been asked to record my daily consumption of compostable goods between the days of August 24th through August 31st. Instead of merely taking photos or a video, (as there were many times I was unable to do so), I decided to make thumbnail sketches of exactly what I went through each day. Here they are:
08/24/17- One banana peel, and two pieces of rotting banana.
08/25/17- One banana peel, two pieces of rotting banana, and a banana peel stem.
08/26/17- One banana peel, two tea bags, and two pieces of rotting banana.
08/27/17- Two banana peels, five pieces of rotting banana, and two tea bags.
08/28/17- One banana peel, three tea bags, two apple cores, two apple seeds, and two pieces of rotting apple.
08/29/17- Four tea bags, three apple cores, three apple seeds, and five pieces of rotting apple.
Last but not least……..
8/30/17- One apple core, one apple seed, five pieces of rotting apple, and an apple stem.
A brief about my thoughts on the composting area at Union Square:
After I traveled with my small bag of compost over to this “facility” in the Northeast corner of the park, I was a bit disappointed with the lack of instruction and lack of up keeping the “facility” had. Bins were sprawled about; open, with rodents, critters, and insects of all sorts feasting to their delight on the open lids of these bins. There were people who simply dropped off bags and they laid around rather randomly. I failed to see anyone actively overseeing any of the composting; and it could’ve been easily passed up as it is not properly labeled or advertised in the park. Anyway, I did continue in dropping off my bit to the overall contribution and left with relief; but wasn’t sure what the difference was in me composting there specifically or simply composting at the New School. (Since we have designated bins for this in some of our residence halls).
My thoughts, ideas, or hopes on the topic of “Consumption”:
As I have surveyed over the years of observing my own behaviors and that of others concerning what is thrown away, I realize just how much potential each and every product we title as “waste” carries; to be transformed into something new, refreshing, and of updated value. “Less is more,” I often tell myself (in numerous aspects of life), whether that is my spending habits; how much I eat or drink, what I purchase and where it is purchased from, etc. The reason I think in such a way stems from my belief that everything holds interconnectivity. Nothing is entirely separate from the reaction of another.
For instance… if I spend less I will have more in the long run for other expenses, if I lower my portion sizes at dinner; that is more I have left over. If I choose to reuse or repurpose an item that could be composed of what is now a scarcity (such as a tree somewhere suffering from the plague of deforestation, ex: as witnessed in the burning of Amazonian rainforests). If I utilize my time in an organized and optimized fashion filling in each gap of empty moments between life, that is additional time I have “free” and for self-care; which boosts my energy levels and immune system to ward off illnesses and become essentially; further productive. Consumption and the action of consuming serves a broader context than I think it is generally associated with. If I were to consume less or take up less of any given subject, my major interest presently would be that of time.
I often find myself taking routes that are far more strenuous in nature to accomplish the same task as that assigned to a peer, coworker, or friend who happens to often approach or invent a solution or way of going about a concept; with a smarter and efficient technique or multiple of techniques. The problem is, I tend to make situations and simple tasks grotesquely difficult almost unconsciously; over and over again. With my designs; I would appreciate methods in this course that tackle my chosen aesthetic with clever shortcuts. Out of an environmental curiosity, I have wondered as well if there may be a way to repurpose lint from dryers in any particular way? Perhaps a textile could be woven?
From my own compost collected during the past seven days; I caught myself usually going through: tea bags, bananas, and apples. Could the peel from the banana plant be harvested into a leather? Could used tea bags be generated into tissues or the left over herbs into bars of soap? These are fundamental questions I ask myself in relation to what I found myself going through. If one is to consume more, the way to be sustainable is to repurpose as much of it as possible.
This previous week is not the best regarding an inventory of compost; since my time to cook generally is so minimal; yet the amount of recyclables I collect is considerable. Therefore, how could I create a beautiful item that someone could use and have need for; without seeming like a hoarder of trash? My goals are to find ways to resource these materials that are offered to me by accident almost daily into a product of high visual and practical worth without cheating by incorporating external supplies that might be store-bought or reproduced.