Chris Jordan finds the Human Connection in Waste

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On the heels of yesterday’s post about connecting the Deepwater Horizon Oil spill with human emotions, I wanted to write a quick post about artist Chris Jordan who does a stunning job of bringing emotion to the idea of waste. The picture to the right is one of Chris Jordan’s pieces and it depicts 1.14 million brown paper grocery bags, which is the number used in the United States every HOUR. At first the image is beautiful and intriguing, but once you comprehend the image, to me at least, it becomes almost repulsive. He has similar pieces that depict the number of plastic cups used on US airline flights every six hours (1 million) the amount of office paper used in the US every 5 minutes (15 million sheets) and the number of aluminum cans used in the US every 30 seconds (106,000). In my opinion, these images are a pretty effective way of quantifying the waste problem in the US as well as humanizing it and presenting it in a visual, emotional format that begins to get at the immensity of the problem and the need for individual responsibility. View more of his work at


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