One Second of Convenience, 500 Years in the Landfill
I bought a veggie sandwich to go yesterday. At the very second I ordered, 2,628 other people throughout the United States also bought take-out food. According to the MSLK Design Firm, most carryout meals are packed in non-recyclable and non-compostable materials such as styrofoam, which can take five centuries to decompose in a landfill.
MSLK, a New York-based marketing and design firm committed to sustainable design, believes that people can better understand the damage done to the environment during one second than the enormous annual numbers we see all the time. Especially when environmental degradation is illustrated with objects from their everyday lives.
MSLK, which practices what it preaches by using wind power in its office and eco-friendly materials in its work, is on a mission to raise awareness about our unnecessary use of plastic and the waste it produces For this project, the designers asked people in neighboring office buildings to save their fast food and take-out containers, napkins and utensils. Then they mounted the throwaways on the numbers 2629, each number is is built of plywood which is 8′ high by 4′ wide.
The result? The “Take-Less” installation. The work also suggests eco-friendly alternatives to cut down on take-out waste: eat at home, dine in restaurants, support businesses that use sustainable packaging materials–compostable and recyclable containers. “Take-Less” will be displayed horizontally on a lush green lawn to remind viewers that our green spaces are being replaced by landfills.
“Take-Less” is the third in MSLK’s series of eco-installations representing the amount of plastic consumed in one second in the U.S. In 2009 they created “Watershed” out of 1,500 disposable plastic water bottles, and in 2008, “2663 Urban Tumbleweeds,” a half-mile long chain of plastic shopping bags.
Visit the MSLK website to learn more about their designs for the environment and other projects.