Garbology and Mental/ Emotional States

Sifting through someone’s garbage may not seem like the most glamorous  thing to do. However, you can tell a lot about a person just by examining the types of objects they discard in the trash. You gain insight into various aspects of their lives including daily activities such as eating and drinking. Garbology can also be used to see other aspects of a person’s life like socio-economic status, family size, gender, etc.. However, garbology can be used to to dig deeper (no pun intended) into the bigger the picture. It can be used to gain insight into how people think and feel about themselves and the world going on around them.

While examining an assemblage of garbage from an anonymous donor it was clear that this person was fairly health conscious. Many of the objects in their trash included organic or simple foods that had little to no processing such as apples. crackers, and rice. Even the beverages they consumed were healthy. From this, it could be inferred that this person cares about body image. Here in the United States, a fit person is often perceived as being beautiful and attractive. This would suggest that this person cares about how other people perceive them. Perhaps in their mind, if they eat healthy then they will be perceived as health conscious and be seen as beautiful and attractive. This indeed plays a huge role in a person’s mental as well as emotional perception of themselves.

It should also be noted that here in the United States it often said that if you eat healthy and engage in healthy activities you will feel better. This person also did not have recorded instances of drinking alcohol, smoking, excessive eating of bad foods in one sitting, or engaging in any form of self destructive behavior. Again, this gives clues into this person’s emotional and mental state because often times (not always) people will use these items as a form of escape from something that would cause unhappiness. Perhaps it might be a bit of a stretch to 100% accurately conclude these things based on one sample, but it surely does give some indication of how this person thinks and feels.

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