Karin, Jaime & the Trash Talkers

One outlet to act on your devotion to environmentalism is to get involved in a community group that aims to create change. Sioux Falls, SD harbors a prime opportunity to do so. I found Karin and Jaime at a Sioux Falls Green Project (SFGP) meeting. SFGP is a local movement educating and inspiring Sioux Falls to build a greener future, and focuses on recycling, water conservation, energy, and design.

Jaime, Karin

Both students at Augustana College, Karin and Jaime decided to intern for the SFGP because they believed in its mission and wanted to educate Sioux Falls residents about what they can do live more sustainably. To do this, they keep their own blog and run certain community events. The SFGP The meeting I attended was to orchestrate a Trash Talkers effort. Trash Talkers are a group of Sioux Falls residents who help out at large events to help others throw their trash and recycling in the right bin. The event that they are planning for, is a large festival centered around motorcycles that usually attracts a huge crowd and generates a lot of trash. So who are the Trash Talkers? I found the crew to be a range of residents from bank tellers to restaurant workers, and accountants to Cub Scout leaders.

Trash Talkers meeting

A couple cub scout troops are always involved, says one troop leader at the meeting. After the event, the kids sort through it to root out any recycling that might have gotten thrown out. The testimonial is that the kids have a blast and become very passionate about not letting bottles and cans go to the landfill. Perhaps it is in their blood- in 1997 South Dakota was #1 in waste management per capita in the Nation. Now they have fallen below the national average, and the SFGP wants to get back to where they were. They recognize that collectively the city can make significant strides to reach their goals, and Trash Talkers is an example of that. My own career in waste sorting got off to a late start, so I was happy to hear about kids getting involved in waste sorting early, and learning to talk some trash.



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