Trash Talk, by Lillian Brummet and Dave Brummet|
When I was very young, the authorities drained most of
a small lake in the state park near my home. My mother took my best buddy
and me out to the lake, and we walked around for hours picking up trash.
It was a stewardship lesson I never forgot. To paraphrase Audrey Hepburn
Roman Holiday, I will treasure that time cleaning up the lake for as
long as I shall live.
But, it was one of many lessons about being a responsible resident of the planet. I grew up in a home where we already practiced much of the advice in
Trash Talk. That made us unusual, in a positive way. As an adult, I
continue those same practices--because they are good for the earth and
good for my wallet. They simply make sense.
I did learn some new things from
Trash Talk, which in itself was a surprise because I am noted for
being able to stretch a buck and not waste things. I like the ability to
live cheaply without being a cheapskate to do it. Not all surprises are
good, but this one was. And I've already begun implementing some of what
I've learned. Even very frugal, waste-conscious people are likely to
realize monthly savings in excess of what they paid for this book. The
average person could easily save that much each week.
As a professional speaker on time management, I was
delighted with the way the Brummets organized this book. The "don't waste"
Trash Talk also applied to the actual reading of the book. That
shouldn't be surprising, as planning and organization are key elements of
reducing trash and cutting costs.
Trash Talk explains the three Rs: Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle. It then
adds a fourth R: Refuse (as in, refuse to buy the wrong items). These
principles form the foundation for the hundreds of useful tips in
The book is organized into four parts.
Part One addresses commonly wasted items and explains
how to reduce waste and extend the usefulness of each item. Every item has
its own section, and each section ends with a bulleted list of the
benefits from following the advice in that section. The items include such
things as bags, carpets, cloth, containers, dryer sheets, furniture,
glass, hangers, nylons, plastic rings, soap, and toothbrushes.
Part Two is less oriented around specific products and
more around areas of concern. Each of these has its own section, as well
(again, with those wonderful bulleted lists). Areas of concern include
energy use, holidays, indoor air, infant and feminine hygiene, kitchen
waste, organic gardening, and water use.
Part Three is really about saving trees. There's much
more to this than most people realize. If everyone followed some simple
steps, as outlined in
Trash Talk, the benefit to our forests, streams, and air would be
Part Four provides short examples of good things happening. The point of including these is to show that significant trash reduction is a reality for many corporations and other organizations. An
extensive list of resources follows the examples.
Form is important and
Trash Talk could use some editing. But even so, it was enjoyable read
and easy to understand. This book is valuable, in many ways. First,
remember that this book is a financial investment. It will pay dividends
exceeding its purchase price, not long after you start putting it to use.
Second, it provides badly-needed advice on how to be good citizens of the
world. It's not a "feel good" book written by some politician or celebrity
who wants to spout some politically correct blather. It's a practical "how
to" guide written by people who walk the walk.
Buy this book for yourself. But also consider giving
it as a gift to others. It may be one of the most durable gifts you have
ever bestowed on another person. Your planet will thank you.