Photographer Gregory Segal asked groups of Americans (families, girlfriends and boyfriends, single fat guys) to pose with seven days worth of their own trash in an attempt to prove that Americans do create more than four pounds of garbage a day – which was a recent disputed estimate from the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Segal juxtaposed the backdrop of the portraits with where the trash would actually end up – forests, beaches, and the planet in general – to create an impactful series about just how much crap Americans are using and the damage that it does to the environment.
However, it might not be 100% accurate as Segal explains that in order to take part the subjects had to collect their garbage themselves for seven days, and some people weren’t 100% truthful about this as they didn’t want the world to see all the gross stuff they were using, or merely because they didn’t want rotting food hanging around for a week, which is kind of fair enough. Some people were more than happy to do this though, so it kind of creates a weird variance around some of the subjects.
Segal is clear to state that he isn’t blaming anyone for environmental troubles on the planet as a result of consumption, but he hopes that his series does at least make people take a look at everything they throw out and to try and do something about it, even if it’s just recycling at the very least. Other people can just enjoy the series at its very basest level – laughing at fat Americans and trying to figure out all the crap they eat that makes them that fat in the first place. Let’s be honest – that’s probably why most of you clicked on the headline, right?