We all know about the environmental issues that affect us daily, but it may be difficult to realize our personal contribution to the global pollution. I bet you have never asked yourself how much trash you produce daily or weekly, and so have most people.

If we turn to statistics, the average American produces at least 4 pounds of garbage daily. It is twice the amount produced in the 1960s and 50% more than the amount of daily garbage produced by Western Europeans.

Greg Segal, a photographer from California, decided to approach the problem through the art of photography in order to raise awareness of the issue.

The project called “7 Days of Garbage”, which is also included in this year’s Fence exhibition that will take place in Brooklyn, is a series of thought-provoking photographs depicting people from different socioeconomic backgrounds lying in the load of trash they produce in one week. 

Marsha and Steven.

Marsha and Steven.

Some of the people who participated in the project were compensated, while others volunteered because they supported the idea. However, some participants were ashamed to bring to the shoot all the garbage they produced weekly, so they edited their garbage bags.

Of course, there were some people who edited their stuff. I said, ‘Is this really it?’ I think they didn’t want to include really foul stuff so it was just packaging stuff without the foul garbage. Other people didn’t edit and there were some nasty things that made for a stronger image,” Segal said.

Sam and Jane.

Sam and Jane

Susan.

Susan

Milt.

Milt

At the same time, Segal himself posed for the photo session together with his wife and son. “I didn’t want to act like I’m separate. I wasn’t crazy about the picture, but I do think it’s important to show people. It’s not like I’m pointing the finger at them. I’m pointing it at all of us,” he said.

Michael, Jason, Annie and Olivia

Michael, Jason, Annie, and Olivia. 

Lya, Whitney and Kathrin.

Lya, Whitney, and Kathrin. 

Elias, Jessica, Azai and Ri-karlo.

Elias, Jessica, Azai, and Ri-karlo.

John.

John

Dana.

Dana

The photographer hopes that his project will get some people to think about what they are consuming and to make some effort to lessen the amount of trash they produce.  “Obviously, the series is guiding people toward a confrontation with the excess that’s part of their lives. I’m hoping they recognize a lot of the garbage they produce is unnecessary.”

Till and Nicholas.

Till and Nicholas

James.

James

Images copyright: Greg Segal