New year, new opportunities for change

New year, new opportunities for change
January 1, 2020 Joanna Dubbeldam
In Blog

Resolutions to make a difference

It reminds me of the expression ‘out of sight, out of mind’.  We don’t often think about where our solid waste actually goes or that our world is in a waste crisis1. My stomach turns when I think about how we are running out of places to put the 1.5 BILLION pounds of waste produced in America every day! When it comes to waste management, there is a range of behaviors from the small percentage of people that endeavor to be zero waste to others that throw out their recyclables in the trash. Every City also affects how we dispose of our waste. In Toronto, Canada (a city of millions) where I am from, the vast majority of people, even those living in small apartments, compost their kitchen scraps as well as their yard waste which is picked up by the City weekly.  In San Diego, where I live now, there is no City supported composting and far fewer recycling receptacles out and about than I am used to. 

 

Do we really produce billions of pounds of waste? Sadly, yes. In 2017 the EPA (US Environmental Protection Agency) reported that each person in the US produces 4.51 pounds of solid waste per day2.  Let that sink in… now multiply that by the 330 million people living in the US, which creates a staggering 1.5 BILLION pounds of solid waste per day. Worse than that, the US produces roughly 3 times the global average3.

 

As we run out of places to put our garbage, the solution is in our hands.  It’s all about choices and everyone can make a difference. When it comes to something as simple as handbags, stop and think what, where and when to buy a new handbag. Buy good quality, buy something that suits your life, buy from a company that has good environmental practices and buy only what you love not just a label.  

 

So as we start this new year, let’s all try to do just a little more. We all have a lot going on but a little goes long way. Start with something big or small. Here is a link to 100 tips to reduce our waste https://zerowastehome.com/tips/ 4. Educate yourself, spend even 5 minutes reading these tips and consider adopting even ONE practice from this list in your daily routine. We CAN make a change and must do better. Wishing you all health, lots of happiness and greatly reduced waste this New Year. 

 

Sources
https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-48838699
2 https://www.epa.gov/facts-and-figures-about-materials-waste-and-recycling/national-overview-facts-and-figures-materials#NationalPicture
3 https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/americans-produce-most-waste/
4 https://zerowastehome.com/tips/

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