Recycling with KAB Man

Enjoy the KAB Man series from, but stay tuned for the more serious side of recycling afterwards...

Episode I - Hiring a Superhero


Episode II - First Day on the Job


Episode III - KAB Man Gets a Sidekick


If you've spent half your lunch break chuckling over the above, now it's time to get a little serious for the other half. No need to stop chewing though.

Recycling is a great thing. We need to do it, and we need to learn how to do it as efficiently as possible. It should become as natural to us as brushing our teeth. But, I want to make a point here about where our litter comes from in the first place.

Please take a moment to consider the definition of the following word:

Consume verb transitive to use up; to devour; to waste or spend; to destroy by wasting, fire, evaporation, etc; to exhaust.

The concept of consumption always had a bad connotation up until about a century ago. So much so, in fact, that they assigned this name to a terribly deadly disease - Tuberculosis. This has all changed. Today, a good consumer is a model citizen of capitalist society. Our politicians are positively infatuated with the words "growth economy". A healthy economy, we are told, is dependent on growth - and we cannot have growth without continual consumption.

Please take the time to watch the following footage, where you'll see KAB Man's new sidekick, Iron Eyes Cody, again, and learn a little more about the original Keep America Beautiful campaign - a campaign launched to stop the spread of laws that threatened the rights of industry, by shifting the focus away from the source of the litter (i.e. built-in obsolescence, and rampant over-consumption), and putting the blame on the individual doing their 'patriotic duty' - the consumer.

Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage Duration: 19mins


KAB Man - a superhero, or a victim of corporate green-washing?

Not wanting to belittle the comedic efforts of the Keep America Beautiful people, please note that nowhere on their site do they discourage over-production and over-consumption. The closest they get to it is to recommend purchasing goods that use recyclable packaging. The concept of ignoring the never-ending waves of fashion, look, and design, considering needs over wants, or developing systems of self-sufficiency, are never broached. It's also not mentioned that recycling consumes energy on its own. The separate collections, the inability to recycle vast amounts of 'recycleable' material, etc. are hidden from the consumer eye.

If the sink was overflowing, I could start a "Keep the Bathroom Beautiful" campaign, soliciting all of you to help with the cleanup. We'd all get busy with mops, right? We dare not regulate the flow of water by turning the tap off, you see - as keeping the water flowing is critical to progress.

The reality is that an economy that can only exist through a constant plundering of finite resources is to the earth what cancer is to the human body. Its success is made complete through the death of the host.


Re-Use Sites (if you have links to re-use websites, please send them to me to add here):

Further Reading:  

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  • Posted on April 25, 2007. Listed in:

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