In the 1980s, when menstruation was generally considered taboo, artist Jay Critchley made art out of discarded plastic tampon applicators washed up and collected on local beaches. With no idea what the items were used for, Critchley could not have known that his curiosity would lead to a decades-long quest to understand and improve issues surrounding menstrual product waste.
When there’s conflict, academics and teachers will often put together a reading list or syllabus to show the breadth and depth of knowledge on a topic that is catching broad public attention. These reading lists are designed to add context, nuance, and history to public discussions (e.g. The Standing Rock Syllabus (2016); The Environmental Data […]
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If the disposability of menstrual products is not prioritised as much as their accessibility, India could be dealing with mountains of discarded waste products in less than 50 years.
Wishcycling is the process of placing discards into the recycling bin even when there’s little to no chance for their recovery. The term entered common use over the last six or so years. But its usage and meaning have changed over time.
Firsting in research, then, is not about being first to a place, first to know something, first to discover something. It is a proclamation of power to make property in someone’s home, to put your own name on otherwise shared or common knowledge. It’s a proclamation of the privilege to not see others, cite others, or acknowledge others.
Put simply, evoking the universal “we” is a way to discard differences and maintain business as usual.
While giving food that would otherwise go to landfill to hungry people may be a convenient part of a solution to reduce greenhouse gases, it will do little to ensure the well-being of the four million Canadians who are food insecure.
Australian discard studies scholars Catherine Phillips, David Boarder Giles, and Gay Hawkins discuss intellectual traditions, settler colonialism, and the future of the field.
Douglas’ theory of matter out of place is about power. Something in the wrong spot, something poisonous, is not matter out of place. Unless it threatens power.
A Twitter essay by Matto Mildenberger (@mmildenberger) Something I’ve been meaning to say about The Tragedy of the Commons. Bear with me for a small thread on why our embrace of Hardin is a stain on environmentalism: we’ve let a flawed metaphor by a racist ecologist define environmental thinking for a half century. Hardin’s […]
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