Trashtastic Tuesday with Scott Kellogg

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Scott Kellogg and his partner Stacy Pettigrew are coauthors of “Toolbox for Sustainable Living: A Do it Ourselves Guide“. The book lays out the how-to in creating simple tools out of simple materials so that we, not to be redundant, can live more simply and use up fewer resources. These are tricks and tools the couple has developed and put to use as part of their organization, the Rhizome Collective and which they frequently share in what they call Radical Urban Sustainability Trainings (R.U.S.T.). I saw Scott give a talk on the book in New York recently. His talk emphasized the need for eating locally and making sustainable choices to be more than a green fad. The questions from the audience focused on how hard that can be when one lives in a concrete jungle. Scott was a kind enough to answer a few follow-up questions for a (long overdue) Trashtastic Tuesday interview.

everydaytrash: What is radical sustainability?

Kellogg: Radical Sustainability” is a term that we came up with at the Rhizome Collective to reclaim the term sustainability that has been all but entirely co-opted by multinational corporations to promote the neo-liberal economic agenda. The original idea of sustainability is that renounces should be available to innumerable numbers of human generations and should be equitably distributed as well. Radical sustainability emphasizes the relationship between environmental sustainability and social justice. It’s not enough to just be green, but to be a good environmental steward you have to look at race and class and equity…that’s it in a nutshell.

everydaytrash: What are some of the sustainable living tools you have created out of trash?

Kellogg: We’ve treated household wastewater with tossed bathtubs—those are items generally found in the trash. We’ve also made passive solar water heaters out of junk refrigerators and old hot water heating tanks. We’ve constructed wind turbines out of recycled bike parts. We try to really look at how we can [build sustainable living tools] using cheap, salvaged and recycled materials. If you’re looking at what’s local and abundant in cities: that’s trash.

everydaytrash: What can people living in cities can do (particularly those like me who have no roof access and no backyard) to lead more sustainable lives?

Kellogg: First, worm boxes can be just a simple little plastic box to keep red wigglers, a variety of worm that can eat a pretty good portion of household kitchen scraps. They don’t smell, don’t take up hardly any space and can be expanding modularly by adding boxes. The castings created by the worms are fabulous for gardens. Even if you don’t have a garden, you can give them to a friend.

Another thing I recommend in cities is growing edible, miniscule mushrooms on logs…this can be done in apartments that don’t get a lot of direct light.

everydaytrash: What kinds of big-picture policy things can people do?

Kellogg: I encourage people to organize with neighbors and interested people to gain access to vacant lots. There’s a lot of space in cities that can be turned into food producing spaces. A lot can be done terms of policy. If we’re going to talk seriously about bringing resources closer to cities, this is what needs to happen.

Photos ripped from the Rhizome Collective site

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3 Responses to “Trashtastic Tuesday with Scott Kellogg”

  1. sollosoikos Says:

    HEY GREAT! I FINALLY FOUND SOME SIMILAR INTERESTS! SOUNDS LIKE WHAT I WOULD LIKE TO PASS ON TO MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY IN THE CITY. I LIVE IN A RURAL AREA, SO I PROMOTE RURAL TOOLS FOR SUSTAINABILITY, BUT OF COURSE I HAVE MANY CONNECTIONS IN THE CITY…

  2. everydaytrash Says:

    Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to hear more about your rural tools. Send us a link!

  3. Bookmarks about Build Says:

    […] – bookmarked by 2 members originally found by leafronzo on 2008-09-28 Trashtastic Tuesday with Scott Kellogg https://everydaytrash.wordpress.com/2008/07/15/trashtastic-tuesday-with-scott-kellogg/ – bookmarked […]

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