How many times do you throw something in the trash can, everyday? Personally, I’ve already visited the trash can 5 times today, and it’s only 3pm.
If you add up the daily or weekly amount, it’s alarming. For instance, if I visit the trash can 8 times a day, for one week, that’s 72 trash deposits a week. In the city of Chicago, where I currently am, the population is 2,695,598. (www.suburbanstats.org) So let’s say each person visits the trash can 5 times per day, and deposits 3 lbs, or 1.4 kg, of waste. In just one week, the city of Chicago has produced 28,303 tons of waste. You can imagine the weight as 28,303 Volkswagen Beetles going to the landfill, every single week. How much more waste can our land take? Even if we had the capacity to fill our land with trash, is that really the environment we want to live in?
We don’t have to buy disposable goods. We don’t have to throw away single use items. We CAN solve this problem. And it starts with both you and I recognizing what we are doing with the materials we hold in our hands. Are you aware of where your granola bar wrapper comes from? Are you aware of where it goes? Do you know that each time you use a plastic fork for that one plate of food, it will stay on this earth as a fork for thousands of years, and probably never be used again? What. A. Waste.
The beautiful thing about all of this is that we change what we buy. We can change what companies produce. We don’t have to throw away everything. And we don’t have to sacrifice our happiness for it.
I talk with others all the time about how we must be more responsible with our waste and reduce our environmental impact. In the process, I’m seeing that I must be more diligent within my own daily actions, so that I can better help others improve their lives.
Here are 5 easy changes I’ve made to minimize my waste:
- I bought & reuse a bamboo cutlery set when I’m on the go. (My favorite and most useful switch!)
- I’ve eliminated tampons and pads from my consumption, and now only use a Diva Cup for my menstrual cycle needs. I’ve saved money, and never have to worry about not having a tampon! Amazing!
- I don’t use straws anymore. However, if I have an occasional smoothie or cup that requires one, I reuse a stainless steel straw. (I have multiple to keep at home, in the car, and in my purse!)
- I avoid takeout, unless I know they use compostable packaging. I’d love to get more involved with legislature and outlaw styrofoam usage, like NYC has done!
- I don’t use plastic or paper bags for grocery shopping anymore. My sweet friend bought me a reusable bag that folds up tiny & clips onto my purse or backpack. It’s SO handy, and since it’s always with me, I have no excuse not to use it!
Here are 5 changes I’d like to make in my own life:
- Find companies that make energy bars with compostable/biodegradable packaging. (I live off of bars!)
- Bring my Joco Cup to work or coffee shops consistently, when I know I want coffee to go. This is something that I’ll need to work on, because the Joco Cup is heavier and bulkier than what I’d like to have in my purse or backpack.
- Focus on purchasing reusable toiletry products. I want to either make or buy cotton pads that are reusable. I want to consistently buy bath products that have zero packaging, or are compostable.
- Only buy clothing that is from a sustainable, responsible brand. Anything else is simply not needed.
- Incorporate all of these resolutions while traveling. Figure out a way to travel lightly, and responsibly. And not lose out on any of the fun!
When I’ve been able to stick to new changes, I’ll post quick lists with links so that you can easily check out which changes work best for you!
I’m finding that making responsible changes does not actually require that much work, at all. All it requires is the willingness to create a new habit. And before I know it, it’s like second nature again. Except this time, my conscious feels so much better.
So hop on the goodness train, and let’s get rocking! We can do this. We can change, and so can the world. Message me with any questions.
Let’s build a world that we want to live in.