Earth Day Challenge Asks People To Carry Trash Around With Them

BERKELEY (KPIX 5) – How much trash do you throw away in a day? You might be surprised, especially if you had to carry it along.

On Earth Day in Berkeley, businessman Greg Dalton headed to a meeting, where he could be told he’s full of garbage.

Dalton, part of Climate One of the Commonwealth Club, carried real garbage in his backpack, as part of a five-day “Trash on your Back Challenge.” For the past five days everything Dalton normally throws in the garbage goes into the backpack, and he must carry it at all times.

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The exercise can get sticky. In an interview with KPIX 5, Dalton pointed out items, including a plate and egg shells from a meal he cooked for his daughter.

Some folks are not sure what to make of it, bringing garbage to an expensive business luncheon. A couple days ago, he went to the opera with garbage in tow.

“I went to the opera house for the ballet and got a few looks. My wife stayed 10 feet away from me but, a lot of people inside were very supportive,” Dalton recalled.

Ellen Cohan collected her trash as well and brought it to work. “It’s bringing up a lot of good questions and starting a lot of good conversations,” Cohan told KPIX 5.

Dalton said, “People around the country have done this. People in the NFL have done it. A Navy admiral has done it in order to make the point to get people thinking and talking about the trash we create.”

According to the Commonwealth Club, the average person throws away four and a half pounds of waste every day. Good thing this competition only lasts for five days.

More from Don Ford
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