When I was reading Team Trash: A Time Traveler’s Guide to Sustainability I took a lot of notes, as there were A LOT of details. Things from literally Pompeii to 2021-2022 and how they all relate to sustainability, environmentalism, and the good, the bad, and the really smelly. Kate Wheeler’s story is more than just an environmental story. It shows friendships and how we can work together, get the job done, and learn how the good, the bad and the ugly, or The Pig, the Plastic and The Politics all come together. (This makes sense when you read it.)
We start with Charlie and Oliver having to be paired together for their sustainability project. Oliver wants to make a book with pictures (the best) but his hero is a superhero turtle, with a sword. And Charlie wants to make a project about methane from cows (or as Oliver says, COW FARTS!) It is not until the “mean girl” and her “science project” (taken from her fathers lab because it “didn’t do what it was supposed to do) turns out to be a time traveling machine and takes the two on a centuries long adventure to all the places that some sort of recycling, or “reduce, reuse, recycling” is going on. The good and the bad are shown. And even things meant to help can have issues too. The fun part is we see even as far back as Pompeii, but even 1750 Philadelphia, 1860 England, the era of plastics in the late 1950’s and 1960’s and even 2021 Washington state and the laws that are being made.
Things are a fun twist on the idea of “being green”, but even if you are not “science guy” (but an artist who likes drawing turtles with swords) you too can make a difference, and we might be able to do it alone, but together we can make a big difference. And this is all illustrated by Trent Huntington. As I read this as an online reader copy, I am not sure how the final results were, but the art has potential to be cute and it does show things though it is a bit minimalistic with details at times.