“Human society sustains itself by transforming nature into garbage.” ~ Mason Cooley
In our last blog, Putting Down Your Roots: Renewable and Eco-Friendly Ways of Building and Developing Your Community, we touched on our booming population and the increase of garbage that is polluting our lands, rivers, and even our bodies. Much like the saying “You are what you eat,” you are also what you throw away.
The average American throws away just over 4 pounds of trash—EVERY DAY. According to a study by The University of Utah, Americans generate 30% of the world’s garbage, and we’re only 5% of the world’s population. This started when society started pushing for the American Dream. Many people’s desire to inspire shifted to how much they could acquire. Business and nature were never mentioned in the same sentence and the definition of the American Dream began to morph into something unexpected. As the trend continued to escalate, more and more priceless resources continued to disappear as society became addicted to the by-products of the dream. A competitive drive had been breed into our culture to do more at any expense, without the knowledge or the regard of the cause and effect to humanity and the planet. Species of every size and shape disappeared and unique ecosystems began to break down drastically affecting climate change, human health, society, and the planet.
We’ve all probably heard about Lauren Singer, the women who is living a zero-waste lifestyle. As of this blog writing, she has fit the past two years’ worth of waste into one single mason jar. If we all lived a zero-waste lifestyle, can you imagine the impact it would make on our environment? Learn more about what Lauren is doing on her website and then keep reading below for ideas to help you reduce your waste.
- Recycling: This should be a no brainer by now. Don’t buy it if you can’t recycle it. And preferably, don’t buy it if you do not absolutely need it. The EPA estimates that 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable, but we only recycle about 30% of it!
- Upcycling: A word that really started to take ahold of the mainstream a few years ago. Upcycling reuses products, packaging, or other items and turns them into new, sometimes even more valuable items.
- Only use Reusable bags: According to org, 1 billion (yes, that’s with a b) seabirds and mammals die each year by ingesting plastic bags. It takes 1,000 years for a plastic to break down. The U.S. uses 100 billion plastic bags annually. These are horrible and scary facts. We need to ban the single use plastic bag! Learn more about this initiative here and how you can get involved.
- Compost: From food scraps to yard trimmings, composting is quickly becoming popular, with some big cities even offering curbside compost pickup! Citizens unite for what is right.
- Previously loved: Or, buying used. REPURPOSE! From records to books, cars to clothes, buying used not only saves the environment, but saves you money, too!
Let’s take that drive, that competition to acquire more stuff and turn it into a passion for creating a better world. Evaluate what is in your trash, you’d be surprised. More unnecessary stuff equates to less life; consider the benefits of living with fewer possessions and more love. Repurpose resources, WASTE nothing. Embody the solutions, not the pollution. Kick the addiction! Join the zero-waste lifestyle movement.
“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.”
~ John Lennon
Founder of Soil to Soul Solutions
Go out there and inspire someone today to be
part of the solution and not the pollution.