Over the past several years, artist Benjamin Von Wong has been on an amazing journey inspiring people to reconsider what they throw away.

It started with a trip to Guatemala and an up-close photoshoot of a massive trash heap there, and quickly morphed into a series of projects designed to confront people with various aspects of the world's waste problem.

As an artist, however, he wanted to do it in a way that would get people to look first before he unloaded harrowing facts about waste on them. There's so much alarmist news out there about what we're doing to our planet that, frankly, after a while, many of us end up turning off to the problem. Von Wong's method of turning trash into something beautiful to get our attention is a different, perhaps more productive approach.

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Straws suck.

They seem to come with every drink, whether you want one or not, only to end up in the trash soon afterward. From there, it’s all too easy for them to end up as more pieces of plastic pollution in our oceans.

But in one particular city, that might not be a problem anymore.

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In 1997, ecologists Daniel Janzen and Winnie Hallwachs approached an orange juice company in Costa Rica with an off-the-wall idea.

In exchange for donating a portion of unspoiled, forested land to the Área de Conservación Guanacaste — a nature preserve in the country's northwest — the park would allow the company to dump its discarded orange peels and pulp, free of charge, in a heavily grazed, largely deforested area nearby.

One year later, one thousand trucks poured into the national park, offloading over 12,000 metric tons of sticky, mealy, orange compost onto the worn-out plot.

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9 reasons you shouldn't throw away clothes, and 4 things you can do instead.

Textile waste is a real problem that so often goes overlooked.

It's springtime! The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and everyone's ready to clean out their closets.

There's something about warmer weather — it seems to make us want to do a complete makeover on our wardrobes and get rid of clutter around the house.

When it comes to unwanted items, sometimes it just feels good to purge and start fresh. No doubt there have been times when you've thrown things in the trash instead of taking them to a donation center. Perhaps you didn't have the time to drop it off, or you thought it was too far gone to be donated.

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