Utah State University Press (9)
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3 EXPLORATION AND SCIENCE: Defining Terra Incognita

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Navajo, Ute, and Paiute sacred views of the San Juan River and its environs were about to meet their greatest challenge when the Spaniards arrived in the eighteenth century. The ways in which the Indians eventually adopted European ways of life, however, were slow and selective. In fact, the process was indirect at first because these Spanish and later American explorers never settled in the San Juan area. Nevertheless, the exploration of the San Juan basin by Spaniards and Americans from 1765 to the mid-twentieth century forms an important precursory chapter in the story of Anglo exploitation of resources that began in the late nineteenth century.

European and American exploration of the San Juan occurred during what historian William H. Goetzmann calls “the Second Great Age of Discovery.”1 An outgrowth of the European Enlightenment, this age marked the emergence of science, whose prime objective was no less than a complete empirical rendering of the planet and its peoples. Material progress was equally important. The exploration of the San Juan by geologists and archaeologists in particular contributed significantly to unraveling the great scientific issue of the later nineteenth century—time. In that sense, those scientists thrust the San Juan onto an international stage. In the mid-twentieth century, scientists with the Glen Canyon Survey put it there again. Their work established benchmarks for ecological studies and archaeological salvage operations.

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7 MINING: Black and Yellow Gold in Redrock Country

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Once a beautiful, well-dressed woman visited the home of a powerful stranger. The master of the house invited her inside, asking who she was. She replied that she was the goddess of wealth, which pleased the master, who in turn entertained her with kindness. Soon another woman appeared, but this one was ugly and dressed in rags. The master of the house inquired her name, and she answered that she was the goddess of poverty. The man became frightened and tried to drive her away, but she hesitated to leave. She explained, “The goddess of wealth is my sister. There is an agreement between us that we are never to live separately; if you chase me out, she has to go with me.” Disregarding this advice, the master evicted the ugly woman, only to have the woman of wealth also disappear.1

Wealth and poverty have always been close relatives, as this Buddhist fable points out. There is no better historic example of this truth than the exploitative attempts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to wrest resources from the Lower San Juan River. When obtaining riches seemed possible, the desert and tortuous rocky canyons along the river became a welcome Eldorado for the miner and oil man. When mineral wealth literally did not pan out, the ugly and desolate wretch was abandoned to her own devices. The outcast river wandered along its course uninterrupted, waiting to be rediscovered.

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2 NAVAJOS, PAIUTES, AND UTES: Views of a Sacred Land

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Close to the time (roughly A.D. 1300) when the Anasazi abandoned their alcove dwellings and floodplain farms for lands south of the San Juan River, the tribes that would be present at the start of the historic period arrived to take their place. Fortunately, because of written records and a healthy oral tradition, there is a much better understanding of the importance of the river in the lives of these Native American groups: the Utes, Paiutes, and Navajos. All three tribes took a physical, pragmatic stance toward the river, encouraging use of the riparian ecology in a high-desert environment. They also, however, held strong beliefs about its spiritual powers, based upon mythological teachings. What follows is an overview of traditional Native American perspectives that reflects a mundane, yet sacred, relationship between the land and its people.

Let’s begin with a brief sketch of these peoples’ prehistory and early history. The Numic-speaking Paiutes and Utes were the first to arrive on the brown waters of the San Juan. Anthropologists argue about when the ancestors of these people set foot in the Four Corners area. Some believe there were two different migrations of Numic speakers, one around A.D. 1 and the second around A.D. 1150. The latter movement generally coincides with Anasazi abandonment of the San Juan basin, but evidence of turmoil between the two groups is sketchy. Other anthropologists believe the Southern Utes came much later; most agree that by the 1500s, both groups were well established in the region.1

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5 AGRICULTURE: Ditches, Droughts, and Disasters

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The Southwest is known for its arid climate, dramatic beauty, and turbulent weather. To the inhabitants who wrest a living from this land, its unpredictability, especially supplying water, provides one of the greatest challenges. The Colorado Plateau and the Four Corners area are consummate examples. The San Juan River is the only major, continuously flowing source of water that courses through Colorado and New Mexico and then crosses into Utah at Four Corners. Melting snows in the spring and intense thunderstorms in the summer and autumn make the river rise and fall sharply. As the moisture pours off the San Juan and Sleeping Ute Mountains in Colorado, and the La Sal and Blue Mountains in Utah, dozens of tributaries swell the tide that scours the riverbanks and tears at the floodplains.

One of the most graphic examples of this phenomenon occurred in the fall of 1941. Between September 9 and October 14, the San Juan River changed from a placid, shallow stream 3 feet deep and 125 feet wide, flowing at 635 cubic feet per second, to a raging torrent 25 feet deep and 240 feet wide, gushing at 59,600 cubic feet per second.1 The river ravaged hitherto protected floodplains, with only the highest banks able to contain the water. Few irrigation facilities and bridges survived the onslaught. The abrasive action of the stream’s sediment load widened and deepened the channel, while the suspended matter swept down the stream, depositing its refuse as the waters receded. Eventually part of the streambed refilled as the river brought in new sand, silt, and rocks, but it took years to replace what had been removed so quickly.

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9 SAN JUAN OF THE IMAGINATION: Local and National Values

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This book has focused primarily on the riparian landscape that people found along the San Juan and what they did with it. Clovis hunters stalked mammoths and mastodons and perhaps killed them to extinction. Indians, from the Clovis down to contemporary Utes, Paiutes, and Navajos, gathered ricegrass, hunted bighorn sheep, and later planted corn. Spanish and Anglo explorers and settlers introduced European-based agriculture and domestic animals. Later, Americans developed highly sophisticated technology to control water in the San Juan basin. The ripple effects of that technology—dams—are still being discovered, felt, and analyzed.

Underlying the physical adaptations are the values that shaped the day-to-day decisions people made as they lived in the San Juan area and used its resources. A particular group’s cultural values will always influence the way they interact with a landscape’s plants and animals. The first two chapters discussed the values of Indians in the Lower San Juan. Because Euro-Americans have had the greatest impact on the San Juan landscape, we have spent more time discussing it, but because more is known about their values, we haven’t talked about them. This chapter, however, will show the ways various Anglo-American mythologies have tried to illuminate and so have affected the San Juan.

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University Press Of Colorado (7)
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4. Life among the Leaves of Grass

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I would be converted to a religion of grass. Sleep the winter away and rise headlong with each spring. Sink deep roots. Conserve water. Respect and nourish your neighbors.

LOUISE ERDRICH*

The brownspotted grasshopper, Psoloessa delicatula, is just starting its second summer of life on the Fromme Prairie. Adult female brownspotted grasshoppers laid their eggs the preceding summer in patches of bare ground. Drilling inch-deep holes into the soil with their abdomens, they deposited eggs that began to hatch in early July. Meanwhile, it is open season on the eggs. Tiny red mites feed on them. Nematodes, flies, and beetles find them tasty. Snakes, shrews, mice, and moles might devour an entire egg mass if they come across it in their burrowing. Any eggs that survive this predation produce nymphs that resemble miniature adults without wings. The newly hatched nymphs have about four months aboveground during their first season. During this period they repeatedly shed their exoskeleton and grow from two-tenths of an inch to nearly half an inch in body length.

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2. Islands and Archipelagos

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[A] land of little rain and few trees, dry summer winds and harsh winters, a land rich in grass and sky and surprises.

KATHLEEN NQRRIS*

Ecologists Robert MacArthur and E. O. Wilson pioneered a new way to think about the ecological effects of size when they developed the theory of island biogeography during the 1960s. The theory predicts the number of species that could exist on a newly created island as a result of distance from the mainland and size of the island. “Island” in this context does not necessarily refer to the stereotypical patch of sand with a palm tree somewhere in the tropical Pacific; a patch of forest surrounded by crops or a remnant of grassland bounded by a city could also be an ecological island.

MacArthur and Wilson’s work was important because it gave ecologists a means to quantify how the rate of extinction (removal of species from an island) balances against the rate of immigration (introduction of species to the island). An island that is distant from the mainland limits immigration. For a true island in the ocean, newly colonizing species must be able to fly, swim, or float far enough to reach it. For an ecological island surrounded by other types of land cover, colonizing species must be able to travel through the intervening lands—fly over the city to reach the forest or swim through the dam and reservoir to the island of natural river upstream. Size of the island governs the space and food available for species that require large individual or herd territories, as well as the diversity of niches available within a habitat. A forest covering 100 square miles is more likely to include dead trees rotting on the forest floor, standing dead trees, and different ages and species of living trees—all of which provide habitat for different species of ants and termites, for example, than a forest covering only 1 square mile.

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1. The Sea of Grass

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[T]he ocean [in the central continent] is one of grass, and the shores are the crests of the mountain ranges, and the dark pine forests of sub-Arctic regions. The great ocean itself does not present more infinite variety than does this prairie-ocean. … In winter, a dazzling surface of purest snow; in early summer, a vast expanse of grass and pale pink roses; in autumn too often a wild sea of raging fire.

CAPTAIN W. F. BUTLER*

Native grasses once sent up green shoots each spring from Alberta and Saskatchewan all the way south into Texas and the plains of Mexico. Grasses swayed in the prairie winds from the high plains of Montana east to the swampy lowlands of Illinois. Across the center of North America, 1.4 million square miles of grass supported immense herds of bison and bird migrations that darkened the skies. What Americans now sometimes call the breadbasket was a province of grasses: 46,000 square miles in the state of Iowa alone, and 40 percent of the continental United States, dominated by grasses. This was the landscape the first people of European descent to reach the center of the continent described as a sea of grass. One of the earliest written descriptions of the central Great Plains comes from Edwin James of the Long Expedition, who wrote while crossing the plains east of Council Bluffs, Iowa, in May 1820:

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7. On the Prairie Winds

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And if Americans are to become really at home in America it must be through the devotion of many people to many small, deeply loved places.

ELIZABETH COATSWORTH*

After picking over the coyote skull, the hawk lifts off on its broad wings. Flapping steadily, it flies toward its nest in the ponderosa pine groves. The nest is braced between two sturdy branches high up in a pine growing beside a small canyon in the foothills, far away from the roads and trails of people. The canopy of the tree protects the nest from direct sunlight and hard rains. Only gentle summer breezes reach here.

The hawk’s nest sat a little to the east last year, in a huge cottonwood along Spring Creek. That was a good spot, with easy access to the many small animals living along the creek. But a pair of great-horned owls forced the red-tailed hawks, Buteo jamaicensis, out. The owls ate the young redtail nestlings and then took over the nest. Here in the foothills Buteo is safe from the owls, but it is a longer distance back to the grasslands where she hunts voles, rabbits, and ground squirrels.

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6. Hunters of the Grasslands

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That the prairie is rich is known to the humblest deer-mouse; why the prairie is rich is a question seldom asked in all the still lapse of ages.

ALDQ LEOPOLD*

The young Cynomys is “a red and digestible joy,” in the words of the poet Mary Oliver, which the coyote takes quickly.1 Cynomys forms the latest of several small meals the coyote eats that evening while moving steadily across the darkening prairie. Often the coyote, Canis latrans, hunts alone, her mate and the other adult coyotes spread widely across the twelve square miles of their territory. On this evening she rejoins her two hunting partners as the evening breeze ruffling her thick, golden-brown fur brings the sound of frog calls.

Fromme Prairie wetlands in early summer.

Down in the cattail marsh the nightly serenade of the boreal chorus frog begins. Having spent the day hidden under logs and plant litter, the frogs emerge at dusk to breed. Their passion results in a mass of eggs, most of which feed the western plains garter snake and other species. Once breeding is done, the adults vanish beneath the mud, emerging again the following spring in an annual cycle they might manage to complete five times. For now the peepers sing loudly and move little, averaging only a few feet each day, their inch-long, green-spotted brown bodies blending well into the marsh vegetation and mud.

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Texas A M University Press (101)
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Nonprofit Resources for Nonprofits

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The following nonprofit organizations, media, and agencies provide support and offer resources such as books and training to support nonprofit organizations’ fundraising and other essential functions, for example, board support, membership, administration, and general management.

Alliance for Nonprofit Management, San Francisco, CA
http://www.allianceonline.org

American Society of Association Executives, Washington, DC
http://www.asaecenter.org

Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, Indianapolis, IN
http://www.arnova.org

Association of Fundraising Professionals, Arlington, VA
http://www.afpnet.org/

The Center on Philanthropy & Public Policy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
http://cppp.usc.edu

Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN
http://www.philanthropy.iupui.edu

The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Washington, DC
http://philanthropy.com

Council on Foundations, Arlington, VA
http://www.cof.org

Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI
http://www.gvsu.edu/jcp/home-45.htm

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Introduction

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JOHN W. TUNNELL JR.

Coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse, productive, and complex ecosystems on earth. They are economically important as sources of food and medicinal products and they protect fragile shorelines from storm damage and erosion. Coral reefs are a source of cultural value and great natural beauty, and they provide vast revenues in tourism dollars. However, since the late 1970s and early 1980s, people around the world have become increasingly concerned about the degradation and loss of this ecologically and economically valuable marine habitat. Coral reefs are being destroyed at an alarming rate in the Gulf of Mexico and throughout the world. The latest report on the status of coral reefs of the world indicates that “coral reefs are probably the most endangered marine ecosystem on Earth” (Wilkinson 2004). According to the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (Wilkinson 2004), the world has lost an estimated 20% of coral reefs. It predicts that 24% of the world’s reefs are under imminent risk of collapse from human pressures, and another 26% are under a longer-term threat of collapse.

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Introduction

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Introduction

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

—Albert Einstein

The need is not really for more brains, the need is now for a gentler, a more tolerant people than those who won for us against the ice, the tiger, and the bear. The hand that hefted the ax, out of some old blind allegiance to the past, fondles the machine gun as lovingly. It is a habit that man will have to break to survive, but the roots go very deep.

—Loren Eiseley, The Immense Journey

EARLY IN MY CAREER, after one of my young-person rants, an older and more experienced conservationist asked me, “Paul do you want to make a point or make progress?” The question became a driving motivator for me during three decades in conservation leadership.

I want progress. I want success.

Ask any environmentalist, and they will tell you that we need to do much more to protect the Earth and that there is a great deal of independent science to support that view. Ask what the solutions are, and the answer gets shorter. Ask what is the most effective strategy for implementing those solutions and you might not get any answer at all.

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3. Orange, Texas

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CHAPTER 3

Orange, Texas

Orange, Texas, was a brief one-year stopover for us. The town is located near the Gulf of Mexico in Deep East Texas on the Sabine River. My snapshot memory says our time there was about crawdads, Brooks and Nellie Conover, a near hurricane, Korea, and “the bomb.”

I am not sure why we left Denton in August 1949. I think it was because Mother, who was still working on her master’s in library science, needed library work to complete her degree, and her dear friends, the Conovers, helped her get a position at Orange High School where Brooks was the head football coach.

We moved into a duplex with the Conovers on St. John Street. For a Texas plains kid, the street was strange: crushed oyster shells with ditches on both sides, brimming after rain (which was often) with crawdads. Being so close to the Gulf, Orange was always wet it seemed. When it wasn’t raining, it dripped, or steam rose from the saturated ground.

Early on, Brooks and Nellie took us to see the mothballed fleet at the naval yard on the river. For what seemed like miles, ships of every sort, World War I and World War II vintage, lay at anchor. Hopes that these would never go to war again changed on August 29, 1949, with the explosion of the first Soviet atomic bomb—followed by the takeover of China by communists. Those two events saturated the newspapers and radio broadcasts. People talked at the grocery store and at Friday night football games. Even my fourth-grade classmates talked about these events, perhaps not intelligently but constantly. We had photos of the bomb and worried about the possibility of an attack. We practiced climbing under our school desks as quickly as possible. Anchors were weighed, and the mothballed ships sailed off.

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16. Parks in a Changing Texas

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CHAPTER 16

Parks in a Changing Texas

I rotated off the National Park Foundation with deep regret but fired up with knowledge gained during my time on the board. In the summer of 2000 I sought out my friend Andy Sansom, who was executive director of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD), serving with great distinction and vision. I explained that I wanted to put my national park enthusiasm and experience to use in Texas. After an hour or so of conversation and exchange of ideas, Andy wrote something on a piece of paper, folded it up, and handed it to me. On it was one word: “Money!”

“George,” he said, “the department is underfunded, particularly the park system, but we also need increased appropriations for fish hatcheries, wildlife areas, and a number of other conservation venues.” I told Andy while I knew the legislative process, I had not worked on conservation and parkland issues and did not know the legislative or conservation players across the state. However, I thought I could raise enough money from friends and associates to give me breathing room to learn, while at the same time begin to build an organization diverse and strong enough to succeed. Andy suggested several people I ought to meet and in December of 2000 introduced me to the constituency groups he had assembled over the years to explain the upcoming legislative budget and issues situation. That was of immense help to me, as I met people who signed on with my next project early and who to this day I count as supporters and friends. This was the genesis of what would become the Texas Coalition for Conservation (TCC).

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Indiana University Press (41)
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Stillness

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I have concluded that the whole misfortune
of men comes from a single thing, and that is their
inability to remain at rest in a room.

—BLAISE PASCAL

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A Few Earthy Words

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It might be said that all much-used,
debased words are looking for restoration,
for revivifying contexts.

—STEPHEN DUNN

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Common Wealth

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A Conservationist Manifesto

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The Geography of Somewhere

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for Dan Shilling

If we are to build up a civilization
around ourselves in these United States,
we must learn to keep our beautiful things and
to look at them more than once.

—VACHEL LINDSAY

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Berrett Koehler Publishers (10)
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Contents

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Chapter 9 The Economics of Outsmarting Waste

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Chapter 9

© TerraCycle

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The main reason why waste is sent to landfills and incinerators and why few of our outputs are recycled (like they technically can be) is all tied up in the economics of waste. It is simply more expensive to collect and recycle most things than the results are worth, and it’s cheap—because we allow it to be cheap—to send waste to a landfill or an incinerator.

Because our world is so economically motivated, perhaps we can make outsmarting waste more attractive by speaking the language of economics. There are hidden economic benefits of investing in the process of outsmarting waste on several different levels. Like the whole of outsmarting waste, these benefits can begin with you at home.

Although outsmarting waste may require an investment of your time, every aspect should save you money. If you don’t buy unnecessary items, you can save money for something more important. Packaged processed food tends to be more expensive then unpackaged fresh foods. Durable products, even though they may cost more initially, will last longer than disposables and should save you money over the long term. Buying used instead of new will also leave a few extra bucks in your pocket.

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Chapter 4 The Energy Inherent in Our Waste

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Chapter 4

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From newspapers to hot dogs, all objects have an inherent amount of energy—their “caloric value.” Simply put, caloric value is the amount of energy that is released when a particular thing is burned. Some objects burn at a positive caloric value, including candles, cigarettes, or basically anything that will continue to burn after you put a lighter to it to get it going. This can easily be calculated in a laboratory by measuring the amount of heat that the object releases per gram and subtracting the amount of energy that was used to get the burn going. Objects with a negative caloric value, on the other hand, consume more energy than they produce in the process of burning.

Calories from items with a positive caloric value are exactly the same type that we try to avoid when we go on our annual New Year’s diet. In other words, if you took sugary, buttery, oil-drenched, icing- and sprinkle-topped doughnuts (yum), they would burn much better (giving you more calories) than things like asparagus, celery, apples, and other foods with a negative caloric value.

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Chapter 3 Our Primary Global Solution to Waste: Bury It

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Chapter 3

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When I was a child, I had a pet rabbit that lived in a large cage on our apartment balcony. Every day I would feed her the vegetable peelings from our kitchen; she would happily eat them, later pooping out whatever her body didn’t use as spherical, pearl-like droppings in one corner of her cage. She would spend the rest of her time hanging out, dreaming perhaps about nice boy rabbits, in another corner of the cage. I never once saw her venture near the “poop corner” unless she had some specific business to do. Come to think of it, if I were that rabbit, I probably wouldn’t either.

The desire to be as far away from one’s own waste as possible seems to be hardwired in us. Landfills constantly face NIMBY (“not in my backyard”) challenges when getting zoned, and property values are lower near sewage treatment facilities, landfills, and composting sites. People simply don’t like hanging out near waste. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why we invented the toilet. If you deconstruct what a toilet is, beyond being a nice ceramic seat, it’s a device whose purpose is to move our waste far away from us as fast as mechanically possible.

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Chapter 1 Where the Modern Idea of Garbage Originated

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Chapter 1

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Human refuse—“garbage”—is a modern idea that arose out of our desire to chronically consume stuff that is made from ever more complex, man-made materials.

To outsmart waste we need to eliminate the very idea of waste; to do so we need to understand where the concept of waste came from and what factors brought about its existence.

Why is it that garbage exists in the human system but not more broadly in nature? Nature is a beautiful harmony of systems whereby every system’s output is a useful input for other systems. An acorn that falls from a tree is an important input for a squirrel that eats it. The by-product of that delicious meal—the squirrel’s poop—is an important input for the microbes that consume it. The output of the microbes—rich humus and soil—is in turn the very material from which a new oak tree may grow. Even the carbon dioxide that the squirrel exhales is what that tree may inhale. This cycle is the fundamental reason why life has thrived on our planet for millions of years. It’s like the Ouroboros—the ancient symbol depicting a serpent eating its own tail; in a way, nature truly is a constant cycle of consuming itself.

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