Garbology Book Club Discussion Guide


Here are 10 Questions to help jumpstart Garbology discussions.

1. What surprised you most in reading Garbology and how does that connect with your life?

2. What could people learn about you from your trash?

Click image for an extensive resource & teaching guide for Garbology

Click image for an extensive resource & teaching guide for Garbology

3. When people talk about trash solutions, most focus on recycling. But Bea Johnson, of the Zero Waste Home blog, focuses on “refusing” – as in refusing to let plastic, party favors and excess packaging in her home in the first place. What do you think about this idea?

4. Author Edward Humes reveals that our nation’s biggest export is our trash,  and that our waste is far greater than many government and industry experts realize -- 102 tons per person in a lifetime. Can you think of better solutions than building Garbage Mountains like the one described at the start of the book?

5. Garbology details the growing problem of plastic ocean pollution as a threat to sea life and our food supply. Responses include community beach cleanups and plastic bag bans in a growing number of cities. What more should we do?

6. Kim Masoner, founder of Save Our Beach in Seal Beach, Calif., crochets plastic bags into bedrolls for the homeless. San Francisco’s dump has 3 resident artists making trash into art. What are your ideas for turning trash into treasure?

7. Andy Keller, founder of Chico Bags, calls plastic bags “the gateway drug” to wastefulness.  What’s your relationship with plastic and disposable plastic bags?

8. Could you (do you) get by without plastic bags? Other disposables?

9. What are people doing in your community to reduce waste? Does your town offer guidelines for recycling?  Collect green waste separately? Encourage composting? 

10. It may not be possible to live truly waste-free. But we all can do better -- and save a boatload of money -- if we make it a priority to gradually change wasteful habits. What simple, practical habits can you change in your home that would reduce your 102-ton garbage footprint?

Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair Wth Trash is published by Avery/Penguin Books.
copyright by Edward Humes

To share your questions and book club experiences, or to request a Skype or Twitter chat with your book club, get in touch with Ed via his contact page.