Reduce, Reuse, Reimagine: Sorting Out the Recycling System

Beth Porter. Rowman & Littlefield, $34 (218p) ISBN 978-1-5381-0539-9
Porter, climate and recycling director for the nonprofit Green America, offers a succinct treatise on the history, efficacy, and future of recycling and waste disposal in her informative debut. She begins with the history of recycling as a patriotic act during WWII and includes delightful details about the ubiquity of victory gardens and the social pressure exerted by scrap drives. Revelations about the aggressive marketing done by manufacturers to convince Americans that waste is their personal failing (and not one that industry holds responsibility for) sit alongside direct, actionable advice on lessening one’s environmental impact. Porter also discusses what is termed environmental racism; for example, the seizure of indigenous lands for production and harvesting, and the overwhelming placement of landfills and incinerators in black or Hispanic communities. Porter also delves into the individual recycling rates of specific materials such as plastic (less than 10% globally) vs. steel (92% in the U.S.), stresses the importance of buying recycled materials, and concludes with a list of concrete steps for being a better environmental steward. Porter’s prose is direct and backed with overwhelming data, as well as examples of functional recycling models in various cities and countries worldwide. This heartfelt plea from a dedicated environmentalist is a clear guide to responsible waste management. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/29/2018
Release date: 11/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 232 pages - 978-1-5381-0540-5
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