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Themes

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 147

In Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair With Trash, Edward Humes explores the themes of American wastefulness, excess, surplus and scarcity, potential alternatives to wastefulness, the cultural implications of a wasteful society, and the negative environmental effects of our culture's wastefulness. Humes details how American society is heavily influenced by a surplus of resources and an excess of waste. For most Americans, particularly middle- and upper-class Americans, objects that are broken are simply thrown away rather than mended. When clothes no longer work for someone, they are thrown away instead of being given to someone else or mended or altered. Perfectly good food is thrown away in alarming excess in the United States. As technology continues to progress, tech items are often thrown away when new, more exciting tech products are put on the market. Humes analyzes the sociological and environmental effects of this wastefulness and offers solutions.

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