By Chere Di Boscio
Californian photographer Gregg Segal thinks you use too much stuff. Or rather, he thinks we all do, and our hyper consumerism is leading to a rubbish crisis that won’t be easy to stop. Despite more and more people reducing, reusing and recycling, we are still creating more garbage than ever before.
Segal wanted to highlight the extent of this problem, so he created some powerful yet witty images of everyday people lying in their weekly load of trash. His ongoing project, titled “7 Days of Garbage” portrays a variety of people from different social backgrounds to demonstrate different habits of different socio-economic groups in the developed world.
Segal, whose other work can also be seen here, thought that the contrast of photographing his subjects in areas of natural beauty would make even more impact on the viewer, so the participants were shot in fields, ponds, beaches and gardens to make the point that overconsumption and its subsequent garbage are affecting nature directly.
“Obviously, the series is guiding people toward a confrontation with the excess that’s part of their lives. I’m hoping they recognize a lot of the garbage they produce is unnecessary”, he said to Slate magazine. Indeed, some of the participants were so ashamed of how much rubbish they produced weekly, they actually edited their bags before giving Segal permission to shoot. Others, like Susan, actually didn’t produce as much rubbish as they’d expected–but still, it seems most Americans are pretty far from having a zero waste home.
What’s absolutely certain is that these images make us all wonder: how much am I producing, and how can I reduce that?
Alfie, Kirsten, Miles, and Elly
Till and Nicholas
Elias, Jessica, Azai, and Ri-karlo
Sam and Jane
Michael, Jason, Annie, and Olivia
Lya, Whitney, and Kathrin
Marsha and Steven
All images: Gregg Segal / Barcroft Media/Gregg Segal / Barcroft Media