We hear these words every day, don’t we? It’s all around us. At the grocery store, in our schools, our workplace, on TV…but how many of us actually practice it?
I try to do my part…return my cans and bottles, food scraps go to the pigs, burn my paper goods, and consign/shop at Stuff Etc. But after reviewing the facts, which I tend to avoid because it brings out my OCD, I’m still not doing enough! Check these out:
- The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world’s people generate 40% of the world’s waste.
- The highest point in Hamilton County, Ohio (near Cincinnati) is “Mount Rumpke.” It is actually a mountain of trash at the Rumpke sanitary landfill towering 1045 ft. above sea level.
- The US population discards each year 16,000,000,000 diapers, 1,600,000,000 pens, 2,000,000,000 razor blades, 220,000,000 car tires, and enough aluminum to rebuild the US commercial air fleet four times over.
- Out of every $10 spent buying things, $1 (10%) goes for packaging that is thrown away. Packaging represents about 65% of household trash.
So what can we do? We all know the basics as I mentioned in my own personal efforts. But I suggest baby steps to making a bigger personal change, a larger commitment to reducing waste.
1. Get rid of the plastic!! Shop with reusable shopping bags. More and more businesses are offering discounts when you shop this way. Recycle your water bottles, detergent bottles, etc. Plastic is one of the worst substances for our environment!
2. Reduce the amount of waste you send to the landfill by selling or donating your no longer needed items. If Stuff Etc can’t sell them for you, there are numerous organizations that are always looking for clothing, shoes, and other items they can send to third world countries in need, and it that isn’t enough of a reason, you can usually get a tax donation receipt.
3. Buy recycled! There are numerous stores dedicated to a green way of living. If you shop around, you can find the exactly what you and/or your family needs that has been repurposed, resold, recycled…items that have rightfully managed to avoid our already exceedingly full landfills.
We can all do our part and an easy way to start is with Stuff Etc. Good luck!