Chris Jordan Puts Consumer Waste In Perspective Through Photography at West Coast Green 2008

chris jordan paper bags photo

One of the images shown by Chris Jordan at West Coast Green 2008 Keynote. Image Credit: Chris Jordan.

Chris Jordan knows that we can't begin to tackle the amount of waste we create because we can't begin to wrap our heads around the numbers. We can't begin to wrap our heads around the numbers because they're too large for us to comprehend.

To help us understand, and therefore act on reducing our consumption and waste, Jordan does a unique and amazing thing through his photography. He shows us the numbers, literally. He presented many of his photographs at the keynote presentation today at West Coast Green.Jordan photographs waste and puts together an image that portrays statistics. For instance, the image of the paper bags is a zoomed in portion of the image below.

chris jordan paper bag forest photo

This image shows 1.14 million paper grocery bags. That's how many paper bags are consumed every hour in the US. Every hour.

Slide after slide, image after image that Jordan presented, the sheer amount of what we waste was put disturbingly in perspective.

After the speech I warily eyed the plastic cups in baskets laying next to water fountains - all of which, we have been assured, are compostable. And all the press kits. All the fliers, that will be tossed within hours. Yikes. Keeping in mind how much is tossed and what can be recycled, as well as simply consuming less is now on the front burner of many minds.

Jordan also shared that his work is open sourced. If anyone would like to use the images for a non-profit endeavor, or would like prints for a charity event, he invites emails requesting high res images.

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