The Little Things

Starting the awareness last week about how much I throw away definitely helped me prepare for this week of no impact. I have had to get creative. Some rules I have followed: always have my “Save the planet” coffee mug, reuse plastic baggies, do not buy new packaged food products, use a tiny piece of paper towel. These were goals also, just to use as little as possible. Sometimes the rules have slipped my mind. Like today, I brought my own soup to lunch (one of those just-add-water kind things) which was super tasty but then I had to throw it away! I have to keep a lookout for those types of waste and energy consumption woes. But, those are just a few thing I have done this week but overall it is actually hard to figure out how much I am wasting because so much of what I do everyday could possibly have hidden consequences. I bet that paper towel that I threw away or the shiny gum wrapper came from a mix of chemicals, heat, and fossil fuel burning. Think about that! The tiny gum wrapper that I just casually threw into a brown “trash bin” was more than just a waste of a material. It caused a certain amount of CO2 to be let into the environment, even though I could possibly chew up to 4 pieces of gum in one day. When we take a long shower or leave our car idling, sometimes the mindset of “it is only this one time” comes into our heads, as though we have never before done it or will never again do this no-so-great action again. The truth hurts though, because we all know that we won’t stop buying our favorite bottled drink or chewing gum (which helps me get work done). The fact is that even if we try out a new way of living, or in this case not throwing so much stuff away, it will change us for the long run. I think these little experiments are what will change the world to make people realize that every decision made is one that can effect the future.

Megan Hart

One Comment

  1. I fall into that “It’s only this once” thing, too! It’s especially easy to think that way when there is something out of the ordinary that you only dispose of once a week or so, such as your soup or my Chef Boyardee container. But in reality, I throw things like that away more often than I realize! If it’s not Chef Boyardee today, it’s something else tomorrow! I am glad you are thinking about the big picture here. It’s good for us to remind ourselves of that throughout this process. 🙂

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