Cleaning Up Our Act: 5 Small Changes That Have A Big Impact On Reducing Waste

Cleaning Up Our Act

Every day millions and millions of tons of trash get dumped into local landfills across America. Not everything that goes into the landfills is biodegradable, meaning it will never break down. Too many things go into landfills that are toxic and dangerous. Imagine, if you will, having to carry the load of every trash bag you ever sent to the dump. Now, imagine the loads getting heavier and being passed on to the kids and grandchildren. We must consider what we are leaving them.

A lot of the carbon emissions and greenhouse gasses are coming straight from all of our trash heaps around the world. Fortunately, there is something we can do about it. Cleaning up our act requires some changes, but they are all for the better and can be slowly transitioned to. Some of the changes simply require shopping more conscientiously, while many of them have to do with how we dispose of our waste. We also have to eliminate the use of so many harmful chemicals – not  only do they harm the environment, but they can also have harmful effects on us, animals, and the whole ecosystem.

5 Small Changes That Have A Positive Impact

  1. Purchase reusable, washable shopping bags and eliminate any use of plastic bags. If you still end up with some plastic bags from time to time, donate them to a food pantry or send them to the recycle station.
  2. Stop using the little plastic produce bags. Some stores offer brown paper produce bags; if your local stores don't you can request them or purchase reusable, washable produce bags.
  3. Eliminate as much use of plastic in your home as possible. Where there is a will there is a way.
  4. Recycle everything you can as often as you can.
  5. Consider packaging when you make purchases. You can look for eco-friendly packaging or find alternatives. When you go out to eat, bring your own washable to-go container.

Another really big thing that helps is spreading awareness. Not only can others learn from our actions but they can also take a stand for change. Keep in mind the way supply and demand works: if more and more customers request brown paper bags in place of plastic, eventually it will happen. If chip lovers across the United States demanded eco-friendly packaging they would supply us. You see, it is all of our little tiny voices brought together that brings our words to ears in surround sound.

Eliminating the chemicals we use will make a massive difference in the environments around us. Many of us just wash the chemicals down the drain, never thinking twice about where they end up and how it will affect everything in the area. Fish and birds are often poisoned or made sick, plants become stunted or mutated, and it changes everything that was natural in the whole universe.

Photo Credit: "Recycling" by Andy Arthur is licensed under CC BY 2.0