Trash Revolution: Breaking the Waste Cycle by Erica Fyvie, ’91. Middle Schoolers will relish this exposé of the truth about the stuff we throw out. While jaunty and accessible for young readers, Trash Revolution does not spare the factual details of where everything goes, how long it takes to biodegrade, and how complex and chemically arcane the recycling procedures have become. All the discarded matter in this book traces its source to the young reader’s humble backpack, where everything from paper, to water, to cloth, to electronic devices abide during the useful days of their life cycles. Humor and science punch and counterpunch to capture the imagination of the young and old: who knew that there’s a shredder (the White Goat Shredder) that allows you to transform your pathetic quiz into toilet paper? My favorite quote: “From toilet to tap! Cheers!” (A great deal does happen in between, as you might suspect). The abundance of information, the delightful illustrations by Bill Slavin, and the well-explained science all motivate the movers and shakers of tomorrow to take a hard look at wasteful habits in their homes. The goal is ambitious: a “Zero-Waste Future.”
Sep 2, 2019
What’s it For? by Henry Humphrey ’49. I was surprised to find that the urban contraptions explained in this book are still mostly quite familiar even though the book is fifty years old. Manhole covers, standpipes, and grates still look pretty much the same. The gizmo where you put your change when you board the bus Is a thing of the past, and I suspect that night depositories have been rendered obsolete by ATMs. Still, the idea of engaging the curiosity of the young about objects they see every day is charming and timeless. I would still show this book to young children and ask if they wonder about the function of anything else.