The Tao of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


The Tao of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


Gail Wilson Giarratano PhD. 

Gail Wilson Giarratano PhD. 


Gail Wilson-Giarratano is Executive Director of City Year Inc. Columbia SC and the owner of Anchor Shred & Recycle Co. LLC.

She holds a BA in Education, an MS in Leadership and Policy and a PhD in Applied Management and Decision Sciences. Gail is a 2004 Schott Foundation Fellow and her one woman show, “It's Cloudy in the West” based on family history circa 1890, toured extensively. Gail has authored two books for The History Press, Drink Small: The Life & Music of South Carolina’s Blues Doctor and Carolina (2014) and Bluegrass: A High Lonesome History (2015). Her current project, The Tao of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle is a collection of original, existentialist whimsy.

It all started when...

I was standing waist deep in a recycle dumpster with a variety of critters. It was 100 degrees, I was alone in the backwoods and asking myself, "Why in the world am I doing this?"

In 2016 I decided that, in addition to my career as the Executive Director of an amazing education focused nonprofit, I wanted to be an entrepreneur and start my own business. I chose recycle collecting and document shredding. I never imagined that the lessons I needed to learn about myself, leadership and humanity would be buried under paper, plastic, aluminum and cardboard. As they say, "You don't know, what you don't know."


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what is truly great

is accessible to all. 





what is truly great

is accessible to all. 




"When people are passionate about something, take a risk and take action, greatness occurs. The act of recycling is just an example because the people who are passionate about recycling, see value in that which others see as having no value. Do not look at the recycle dumpster as a place for waste. It is where greatness is found." gwgphd












My research and preparation for TEDxCharlotte led me to the creation of exsitentialist whimsy and my theory behind The Tao of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

The premises of centers around the dual philosophy of the core human value of treating others with a care equivalent to the care we extend to the earth. My point is that we can only truly heal the Earth by practicing this balance. 

Publications, Research and Public Policy

  • Nonprofit Leadership and the Decision Making of Executive in Transition
  • Preparing the Early Education and care Workforce
  • Using Data to Create Change for Young Children in the Commonwealth
  • Girls Research & Information Network-Center for Women in Government and a Civil Society, Albany NY
  • Carolina Bluegrass, A High Lonesome History, 2015 The History Press
  • Drink Small, the life and music of South Carolina’s Blues Doctor , 2014 The History Press
  • 2004 Schott Leadership Fellow, Cambridge MA



What is Existentialist Whimsy?

Gail's whit and philosophy is a delightful combination of Dr. Suess meets Soren Kierkegaard!

Original existentialist whimsy-Gail Wilson Giarratano PhD

They had purchased their tickets and they stood in line,

They had waited for this for such a long time.

Once took for granted, now hushed  to see.

They waited and marveled,

Behold the tree.


The journal contains over fifty verses for reflection and discussion.

You think I'm just a can, I'm not.

Ten thousand things, I am a lot.

And you are so much more than you,

Because of all the good things you can do!


Think outside the box and create solutions. As Kierkegaard said, become a knight of faith.

Fix the Earth fix it quick. Save the rivers and trees.

Problems everywhere you look,

Fix them before we freeze.

Fix your family, fix your neighbor,

You are one heck of a fixing machine.

Don't forget to experience life, and fit your fixing in between.


Be, Your Caring~ Gail

I saw the pelican corpse,

Her belly full of plastic and bags.

The gulls feathers were dull, grimy and slick,

Feet tangled with threads from old rags.

A giant blimp was overhead,

The message danced in sky with cheer.  

Happy Hour starts at four. Enjoy paradise with our two for one beer!

The beach is a bit of a downer today,

So I quickly turned my back.

It was almost four, so off I go, for a tall glass of alternative facts.


Thank you for Recycling!


I go to woods, I wander and look,

There is no reason to think.

The birds, the trees the fields of green,

River so clear you can drink.

Flowers scattered, a random perfection,

Scouted by butterfly and bee.

No reason to think, the silence alone,

Makes me a much better me.




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  • February 13-Pink Productions Interview
  • March     19-Carolina Recycler's  Association, Asheville, NC
  • March     29- Virtual Business Summit Presenter,
  • 2019- National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives, Charleston, SC