Making a difference

As I step out into this amazing world of making a difference by first placing the proverbial quill to ink I will wonder how much is ahead of me! In my mid 30’s,  I recognize so many ways in which my life has been trained to destroy this planet.  Real conservation efforts did not become commonplace until after I graduated high school.  As I have modestly traveled and examined the efforts of  various communities in the United States, I have come to understand one thing, WE AREN’T DOING ENOUGH.  What does that mean?  Hopefully through the continued efforts of those who choose to come, share, and implement within our own homes and businesses Earth friendly practices.   As we each develop new habits, we will leave a smaller imprint and hopefully bring others along with.

I will be blogging about a wide variety of awareness issues, cases of news worthy attention,  and action items.  Some will be policy bound, surveys, and simple ways to change our habits.  Sometimes I will challenge you, other times I may just post pictures, links to news articles and more… hopefully I will be able to bring a variety of items on a daily basis.

Today, I propose two simple things, as a way to start thinking about usage.

The first one is to find a spare garbage can, bucket or tub and place it right next to the primary garbage can.  If possible place that can in front of the garbage can.  Begin to place plastics, paper, cardboard, metals and glass items in the one container.  Remember that most plastics are recycled, but may need rinsed out if they already have food items in them.  The one type of plastic that most recyclers are not taking is the plastic bags from shopping.   Most companies that provide bags, also provide a bag recycling option.  If you already have a recycling bin, consider starting a compost in your back yard or find your local community garden and inquire about their compost needs.

The second thing is about those plastic bags.  What do you do when you shop?  Are you a person that brings bags in with you each time you shop?  Do you avoid taking bags each and every time you shop?  Or maybe you know you should but they end up at home anyways.  It’s ok, you are not alone.  Even I end up with some once in a while.   Did you know that some companies are beginning to charge per plastic bag you get?  Many communities are levying  a fee for each and every bag the business gives you and are transferring it directly to you!   Even if your community hasn’t come to these steps, the problem of plastic bags is real.  While you might not believe me yet, I just want to challenge you to consider this – the amount of bags you use is probably much more than you think.  So, if you have a pile of bags somewhere, clean it out.  Take one bag, and place it in a place where you can easily fill it with empty bags after each shopping trip and where it will be seen and accessible as you leave to go on your next shopping trip!  By taking your used bags with you and reusing them,  you are making a significant difference on your imprint.

Why – the whole question is why… to begin answering that question, I have compiled some stories here…

http://www.chicobag.com/learn-facts

http://io9.com/5911969/lies-youve-been-told-about-the-pacific-garbage-patch

http://5gyres.org/posts/2013/01/17/a_new_garbage_patch_discovered_the_south_pacific_gyre

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5 thoughts on “Making a difference

  1. i love the idea of giving us simple little ways to be more conscious of the way we consume. i could certainly do a better job of recycling myself. thank you for taking the time out to educate us all : )

    Cheers,
    Kola

    • Thank you so much. My whole goal is to softly and positively promote simple changes. The reality of plastics is that only 8% of plastic was recycled in 2010. We as a world can do so much better and the effort isn’t going to happen through our bureaucracies, but through our circles of influence, our community, our congregations. I hope that my efforts will continue to promote many to make small but constant changes to our daily habits!\

  2. I love your tidbits on giving easy and not so overwhelming solutions to recycling and cutting back on your plastic bag usage. I would find it useful, because I know that only certain number plastics are actually getting recycled, what I can do to actually ensure that all of my recyclables are not getting dumped in a waste pile. A couple of years ago I ran into a waste management booth at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and they seemed to be making some great strides in their recycling program…. I would find this info fascinating.

    Also, I can completely relate to forgetting to bring my bags with me to the store, especially if I am already out and about and didn’t plan on stopping at the store during the day but ending up doing so anyway. So, from now on I am going to keep a few spare reusable bags in my trunk….

    Another thought that I just had while thinking about cutting back on plastic. I have a new friend who is training for a major Jui Jitsu event and he is on a very strict diet and therefore also drinking ALOT of water. He reuses his glass jars from food products as water bottles. Not only is he not using throw away bottles but he has also cut back his consumption of reusable plastic bottles. Pretty cool stuff.

  3. I bring my own bags most of the time! Sometimes I forget or I don’t bring enough though. Maybe one day I’ll get it right!

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