Don't Just Eat Less This New Year, Waste Less, Too

Don't Just Eat Less This New Year, Waste Less, Too

10 small steps to reduce how much you waste this year.
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Let's face the facts here, you probably waste a lot more than you should be wasting, right? Well, you are not alone. For starters, Americans threw away 161 million tons of material in 2009. That amounts to about three pounds of garbage per person per day. To give you a better idea of how much trash that is, picture this: in 2009, landfills were filled with trash equivalent to the weight of 88 million cars or enough trash to circle the earth 24 times. Clearly we need to make lifestyle changes to start wasting less. Yes, one person making a lifestyle change can make a difference, so now is your chance to just follow these 10 simple steps.

1. Don't even think about using plastic bags. Instead, bring a reusable one.

Plus they are more stylish, anyways.

2. Avoid individually packaged items.

Buy in bulk and save some money too! Be sure to avoid bulk packages with just as much waste as the individually packaged ones.

3. Avoid bottled soda and instead make your own.

Invest in a more sustainable way to drink soda, like a SodaStream or SodaSparkle. Again, it will save you money over time, too!

4. Bring your own food containers and utensils.

Bring your lunch in a reusable container and do not forget your utensils. Going out to eat? Bring a container into the restaurant and take your leftovers to go as well.

5. Don't forget your reusable coffee cup and water bottle too!

There are so many brands that make variations on cups and bottles so there is a product to fit everyone's style needs.

6. "No straw please". A simple phrase to add to your next order to ditch the plastic straw.

Think of how many straws you use only once just to have them be thrown away. It is quite ridiculous to think about how many straws are in landfills and in the ocean. When you ask for your water with lemon, next time, order it without a straw. You can also bring your own straw, too, like this one from Strawesome!

7. Shop Second Hand

Save even more money and have some fun thrift shopping. You might just help the planet in the process of doing so. Shopping second hand extends the life of clothing, instead of them being discarded in landfills and cuts down on manufacturing demands.

8. Grab the rag. Replace your paper towels with a reusable rag.

Why kill trees when you can quickly reduce your waste with a simple reusable rag. PeopleTowels are making "going green as easy as drying your hands."

9. Compost at home.

Composting is a fun and super sustainable way to turn waste back into organic material to be used to help plants grow. There are many ways to compost at home. Looking to compost inside? Try worm composting!

10. Recycle already! It's 2016.

If you are still throwing away important recyclable materials, then it is your time to change. Not sure if you are recycling the right materials? Check out the 7 Surprising Things You Should Not Recycle and make sure you are recycling the right way.


Most importantly, you can do it! Just take it step by step. Good luck!



Cover Image Credit: http://www.untha.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/food-waste-and-vegware-lower-res-1.jpg

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Your Wait time At Theme Parks Is Not Unfair, You're Just Impatient

Your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself.

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Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios "unboxed" on June 30, 2018. My friend and I decided to brave the crowds on opening day. We got to the park around 7 AM only to find out that the park opened around 6 AM. Upon some more scrolling through multiple Disney Annual Passholder Facebook groups, we discovered that people were waiting outside the park as early as 1 AM.

We knew we'd be waiting in line for the bulk of the Toy Story Land unboxing day. There were four main lines in the new land: the line to enter the land; the line for Slinky Dog Dash, the new roller coaster; the line for Alien Spinning Saucers, the easier of the new rides in the land; Toy Story Mania, the (now old news) arcade-type ride; and the new quick-service restaurant, Woody's Lunchbox (complete with grilled cheese and "grown-up drinks").

Because we were so early, we did not have to wait in line to get into the land. We decided to ride Alien Spinning Saucers first. The posted wait time was 150 minutes, but my friend timed the line and we only waited for 50 minutes. Next, we tried to find the line for Slinky Dog Dash. After receiving conflicting answers, the runaround, and even an, "I don't know, good luck," from multiple Cast Members, we exited the land to find the beginning of the Slinky line. We were then told that there was only one line to enter the park that eventually broke off into the Slinky line. We were not about to wait to get back into the area we just left, so we got a Fastpass for Toy Story Mania that we didn't plan on using in order to be let into the land sooner. We still had to wait for our time, so we decided to get the exclusive Little Green Man alien popcorn bin—this took an entire hour. We then used our Fastpass to enter the land, found the Slinky line, and proceeded to wait for two and a half hours only for the ride to shut down due to rain. But we've come this far and rain was not about to stop us. We waited an hour, still in line and under a covered area, for the rain to stop. Then, we waited another hour and a half to get on the ride from there once it reopened (mainly because they prioritized people who missed their Fastpass time due to the rain). After that, we used the mobile order feature on the My Disney Experience app to skip part of the line at Woody's Lunchbox.

Did you know that there is actually a psychological science to waiting? In the hospitality industry, this science is the difference between "perceived wait" and "actual wait." A perceived wait is how long you feel like you are waiting, while the actual wait is, of course, the real and factual time you wait. There are eight things that affect the perceived wait time: unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time, pre-process waits feel longer than in-process waits, anxiety makes waits feel longer, uncertain waits are longer than certain waits, unexplained waits are longer than explained waits, unfair waits are longer than equitable waits, people will wait longer for more valuable service and solo waiting feels longer than group waiting.

Our perceived wait time for Alien Spinning Saucers was short because we expected it to be longer. Our wait for the popcorn seemed longer because it was unoccupied and unexplained. Our wait for the rain to stop so the ride could reopen seemed shorter because it was explained. Our wait between the ride reopening and getting on the coaster seemed longer because it felt unfair for Disney to let so many Fastpass holders through while more people waited through the rain. Our entire wait for Slinky Dog Dash seemed longer because we were not told the wait time in the beginning. Our wait for our food after placing a mobile order seemed shorter because it was an in-process wait. We also didn't mind wait long wait times for any of these experiences because they were new and we placed more value on them than other rides or restaurants at Disney. The people who arrived at 1 AM just added five hours to their perceived wait

Some non-theme park examples of this science of waiting in the hospitality industry would be waiting at a restaurant, movie theater, hotel, performance or even grocery store. When I went to see "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," the power went out in the theater right as we arrived. Not only did we have to wait for it to come back and for them to reset the projectors, I had to wait in a bit of anxiety because the power outage spooked me. It was only a 30-minute wait but felt so much longer. At the quick-service restaurant where I work, we track the time from when the guest places their order to the time they receive their food. Guests in the drive-thru will complain about 10 or more minute waits, when our screens tell us they have only been waiting four or five minutes. Their actual wait was the four or five minutes that we track because this is when they first request our service, but their perceived wait begins the moment they pull into the parking lot and join the line because this is when they begin interacting with our business. While in line, they are experiencing pre-process wait times; after placing the order, they experience in-process wait times.

Establishments in the hospitality industry do what they can to cut down on guests' wait times. For example, theme parks offer services like Disney's Fastpass or Universal's Express pass in order to cut down the time waiting in lines so guests have more time to buy food and merchandise. Stores like Target or Wal-Mart offer self-checkout to give guests that in-process wait time. Movie theaters allow you to check in and get tickets on a mobile app and some quick-service restaurants let you place mobile or online orders. So why do people still get so bent out of shape about being forced to wait?

On Toy Story Land unboxing day, I witnessed a woman make a small scene about being forced to wait to exit the new land. Cast Members were regulating the flow of traffic in and out of the land due to the large crowd and the line that was in place to enter the land. Those exiting the land needed to wait while those entering moved forward from the line. Looking from the outside of the situation as I was, this all makes sense. However, the woman I saw may have felt that her wait was unfair or unexplained. She switched between her hands on her hips and her arms crossed, communicated with her body language that she was not happy. Her face was in a nasty scowl at those entering the land and the Cast Members in the area. She kept shaking her head at those in her group and when allowed to proceed out of the land, I could tell she was making snide comments about the wait.

At work, we sometimes run a double drive-thru in which team members with iPads will take orders outside and a sequencer will direct cars so that they stay in the correct order moving toward the window. In my experience as the sequencer, I will inform the drivers which car to follow, they will acknowledge me and then still proceed to dart in front of other cars just so they make it to the window maybe a whole minute sooner. Not only is this rude, but it puts this car and the cars around them at risk of receiving the wrong food because they are now out of order. We catch these instances more often than not, but it still adds stress and makes the other guests upset. Perhaps these guests feel like their wait is also unfair or unexplained, but if they look at the situation from the outside or from the restaurant's perspective, they would understand why they need to follow the blue Toyota.

The truth of the matter is that your perceived wait time is always going to be longer than your actual wait time if you can't take a minute to focus on something other than yourself. We all want instant gratification, I get it. But in reality, we have to wait for some things. It takes time to prepare a meal. It takes time to experience a ride at a theme park that everyone else wants to go on. It takes time to ring up groceries. It takes patience to live in this world.

So next time you find yourself waiting, take a minute to remember the difference between perceived and actual wait times. Think about the eight aspects of waiting that affect your perceived wait. Do what you can to realize why you are waiting or keep yourself occupied in this wait. Don't be impatient. That's no way to live your life.

Cover Image Credit:

Aranxa Esteve

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8 Predictable Things You’ll See in Every Men’s World Cup Match

While each soccer game is unique and novel in its own right, there are several guaranteed parts that comprise each match in the international tournament.

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Even though soccer isn't the most popular sport in the United States and our country's men's team even failed to qualify this time around, I love sitting down to watch the World Cup. It could be because I played soccer growing up because I love the unpredictability of sporting events or just because I'm bored, but no matter the reason I can't tear myself away from the tournament that comes around just once every four years. Despite its apparent rarity, I — and likely many others — have picked up on numerous occurrences that seem inevitable for each and every match.

1. A player flops

Stop, drop and roll!!!

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I'll get this one out of the way. In my opinion, this is the most frustrating part about soccer. A strong player who trains for hours a day inexplicably feels the most intense, unimaginable pain when lightly nudged on the arm. He might grimace and roll around on the pitch like he's practicing his fire safety techniques or he might even require the medical staff to miraculously cure him so he's well enough to play like nothing ever happened. As much as I want this to stop so we can actually enjoy the game, it's kind of hilarious.

2. Someone argues a foul

Ronaldo is great at soccer, but not so great at arguing.

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By this point in my life I've realized that arguing with and yelling at people doesn't typically make them want to agree with you, but it seems that no professional soccer players have been lucky enough to learn this. They'll shove someone in the back, miss a slide tackle to slide straight into the opponent's legs or bite someone (I'm looking at you, Luis Suarez), and they'll still get in the official's face and yell when the whistle blows. Like flopping, it's frustrating, but ironically hilarious.

3. The referee makes the “oh don’t you start with me” face

I've never seen this call before.

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We've all seen and made this face before, and referees are no exception. This typically occurs right as someone tries to argue a foul, and sometimes, if the intimidating face doesn't work, they'll reach into their chest pocket and pull out a yellow card instead.

4. The referee runs over to use VAR, avoiding players trying to start with him

The universal gesture that means "I have no idea what just happened so I'm using VAR."

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The newly implemented Video Assistant Referee comes to the rescue, very often now, and it was used at least three times in the Portugal vs. Iran game. This new technology is a great way to fairly clear up controversy about being offsides, catch handballs and to help avoid too many passive-aggressive facial expressions from referees.

5. The cameraman zooms in on attractive fans

Beautiful.

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This hopefully only happens during breaks from the game, but I've seen matches where the cameraman decides the fans are preferable to the actual sport. This is probably some industry technique to boost ratings, especially for some slow moving games, but it makes me think that a soccer game might be a great place for someone to go to jumpstart his or her modeling career.

6. Someone narrowly misses a goal and you have to watch it 18 times in slow motion

This gif isn't from the World Cup, but if you keep watching the tournament you'll probably see similar scenarios. And you won't just see them once, you'll see them over and over and over again.

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There haven't been any 0-0 draws yet in this tournament, but there are some games where neither team can put the ball in the back of the net. There are almost no games, however, where neither team takes a shot. In every single game of soccer, someone will hit the post or knock the ball barely wide of the net, and we watch the same replay an unbelievable number of times. In case you weren't watching the actual game or the first replay, there's no need to worry because there should be at least three more. You can even watch every single fan's reaction to the near miss thanks to all the replays.

7. An overly enthusiastic fan won’t stop blowing a vuvuzela

Poor dog, I'd have the same reaction.

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I don't know whose idea it was to make an obscenely loud plastic horn the preferred cheering technique for soccer fans, but those things are everywhere. They seem to penetrate the sound barrier and even a single one is clearly heard on broadcasts around the world. They're clearly powerful, but they're also a surprisingly neutral cheering technique, since it isn't clear which team the fan is cheering for. Like flops and arguments, I think the vuvuzela tradition is entertaining as well, but I doubt the person sitting next to someone playing one would agree.

8. A player’s skill or stamina will make you very aware of your position on the couch

Live footage of me watching any soccer game

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Every time I watch a soccer game I'm in awe at the players' ability to dangle their opponents as if it's second nature and sprint down the field like there's a cute dog waiting at the other end. I'll jealously wonder how they ever became so skillful in the sport or so athletic in general as I sit on the couch eating snacks and writing sarcastic articles. Now that I think about it, if I ran a lap around the room every time someone flopped or did a few pushups every time I heard the nasally honk of a vuvuzela, I might be as athletic as them too.

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