is a blog about design, technology and culture written by Khoi Vinh, and has been more or less continuously published since December 2000 in New York City. Khoi is currently Principal Designer at Adobe, Design Chair at Wildcard and co-founder of Kidpost. Previously, Khoi was co-founder and CEO of Mixel (acquired by Etsy, Inc.), Design Director of The New York Times Online, and co-founder of the design studio Behavior, LLC. He is the author of “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design,” and was named one of Fast Company’s “fifty most influential designers in America.” Khoi lives in Crown Heights, Brooklyn with his wife and three children. Refer to the advertising and sponsorship page for inquiries.+
Like a lot of New Yorkers I’m proud of the fact that, by walking or taking the subway almost everywhere, I consume far less gasoline than many residents of other cities. But this article suggests that smugness is not well-founded, as it’s also apparent that I’m probably generating much more non-recyclable waste than I could be. New York ranks sixteenth among twenty-seven cities in Siemens AG’ Green Cities Index and currently recycles just 15% of waste collected by the sanitation department, down from 23% a decade ago.
Numbers aside, the reporter’s own tally of non-recyclable waste products she collected after a week of take-out dining is sobering, and sadly familiar:
“I ended up with three plastic yogurt containers, a paper salad box, a paper cereal bowl, two Styrofoam plates, one plastic salad-dressing container and seven plastic food containers — the rigid ones with snap-on lids. Also, five plastic cups (each with a plastic straw), a paper cup with a plastic lid, a plastic water bottle and a plain old paper cup (it held milk for my cereal). Also, one plastic fork, one plastic knife and two compostable plastic spoons, which I threw out rather than composting.”