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Bash the Trash’s Mission of Addressing Environmental Issues

Well, it’s been a couple of weeks since the IPCC report on Climate Change was released. If you follow current events at all you probably have heard some of the alarming results of this report - rapid ocean rise, shrinking habitats and resources, increased wildfires, farming crises…and all within the next 20-40’s scary. If you are not aware, please see the links below, and at the very least take a look at the linked NYTimes article which summarizes the impending global crisis, which is coming much faster than scientists anticipated even just a few years ago.

Given the dire results of this report, and Bash the Trash’s mission of addressing environmental issues, it is now important for us to review our message, consider possible changes to that message, and implement the changes during this current performance season. Not only is it vital for us to always keep on top of new research and reflect that in our shows, it is also good for our clients to see us keeping the show fresh and using the most recent information. We also want to anticipate changes we foresee in the recycling program to keep that message current as well, more on that later.

One of the scariest results of the IPCC report has been the echoing silence after its release. One would think that a clarion call warning of impending momentous changes would galvanize the world to address the issues…

So here is what Bash the Trash is going to do, in our own limited way. Over the next few months we are going to begin working through script changes in the environmental content of our shows to reflect the new research and the new realities. We don’t mind moving with some deliberation on these changes, but by the time we hit the Earth Day rush in 2019 we want be sure that the environmental information in ALL of our shows is thoroughly overhauled, and we are no longer giving outdated or no-longer-relevant information.

As for recycling, we are going to begin to emphasize the fact that the 3 Rs (Reduce Reuse Recycle) are deliberately put in that order to emphasize which has the most and least impact on the environment. In Reduce, you don’t introduce new stuff to the ecosystem, so no impact; in Reuse, you still have to create a product, but you use it again, either for the original purpose, or repurposed; Recycling has the most impact on the environment because of the amount of energy needed (and carbon dioxide released) in order to to truck the stuff around, enact the chemical change necessary, melt the plastic, pulp the paper, and so forth.

Not only that, but there is a much shorter-term problem with recycling right now. Recently China and several other countries stopped accepting plastic waste from the US. The bulk of our recycled stuff had previously gone to these countries. So right now recycled stuff is basically being stored in warehouses, dumped into landfills, or the recycling programs are being temporarily halted. And we’ve seen recycling programs become the butt of late night comedian jokes, which is telling…

Performance-wise, as always, there are a zillion considerations about how to address these extremely alarming findings - especially with the climate change issues - with an audience of students and families, so we are going to be looking at that carefully. Much will depend on how old the kids are.

Here's the full report if you feel like diving in:

Here’s the summary for policy makers if you want to skim the highlights:

And if you don’t feel like reading either of the above here is NYTimes article with a precis:

We want to hear your thoughts about these issues (please at least skim the report and/or read the articles first…), and how we might begin to incorporate these new ideas into our shows, not only here in NY, but also in the Detroit, Boston and LA groups.

Again, these things don’t have to be enacted in full immediately, but we have to start roading new scripts and presentation points so that things fall into place soon. Our message is more important now than ever before, and we have the scientific data to back it up. Let’s see if we can’t push harder on this issue.

John & Carina

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