We've been depleting resources as our human population continues to expand. We've, as a society, developed new trends for electrical cars and solar-everything to reduce waste, yet the US is still one of the largest producers of waste.
As an individual, we feel helpless sometimes because we feel a though we aren't writing the laws so we can't do anything about major corporations, etc. but we individuals, produce so much waste. According to the Annenberg Learner, we INDIVIDUALLY produce 4.6 pounds of waste each day. Imagine how that affects the plants, insects, the animals, and wildlife who cherish this planet as their own. Imagine how much land and water we've taken away from others because it's just so polluted. We've truly hurt mother nature, and it's only going to come back and hurt us in the end when we won't have any feasible resources for ourselves.
Here are some ways you can start to be more mindful about your waste and take actions to decrease the 4.6 pounds of trash you produce:
1. Invest in a reusable water bottle
There's a picture of a Hydro Flask here because it's the one you see the most. Hydroflasks are an expensive option and there's definitely other and better options (ex: Target, Walmart, etc.) A reusable water bottle can be annoying in the fact that you have to find water stations and have to refill it constantly, but here are a bunch more positives: you won't have to spend money on buying a water case, you'll be able to flavor your water however you want, you can put any drink in your glass, it will stay the temperature you want it to stay, you can also put soup/ramen in there (no one will know), and the list keeps going. You get my point. Invest in a thermos bottle ASAP!
2. Go straw-less or buy a reusable straw.
If straws are your life, buy a reusable straw that you stick into a drink, wash, and then slip into another drink. It's a lot better than using plastic straws in general. Also, you'll look super cool with your own straw. Go check Amazon.com right now!
Also, at fancy restaurants, for those of you who order drinks and don't drink the drink straight from the glass and ask for a straw. STOP DOING THAT. Just drink from the glass. No, it's not disgusting and no, it's not dirty. If you ordered wine, you would drink straight from that boujee glass, wouldn't you? So what's the difference. There isn't one.
Also, PSA for my ladies who are super obsessed with their face, straws CAN and WILL give you wrinkles around your mouth when you're older.
3. Invest in recycle and compost bins
Yeah, I really do have to make this a point. Many people don't have recycling bins inside their house. This is very, very essential! So much paper and cardboard and much more can be reused if it ultimately goes into the right bin and is sorted out properly. It helps garbage collectors, the state, the nation, and ultimately, everyone on this planet.
All food scraps in your house--just throw them in a separate bin called the "compost bin" and feed it to your plants! They love that kind of rich fertilizer.
So in short, go to the store and buy a bunch of colored trash-bins. Put them in your kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms (all your main rooms) and label them as "trash", "recycling", and "compost." It's really simple.
Also, on Saturdays or Sundays (depending on your area), take your bottles and cans to the recycling center! Please! The biggest incentive for this is the money you make. Yeah, obviously they don't give you $100 bills but even $5 or $10 goes a long way for small treats and quick shopping. If you don't know where your closest recycling center is, google it. I promise you that you will find it easily.
4. Compostable utensils and tupperware
If you ever have gotten food at Whole Foods, you know that you can get lunch in compostable containers. With a little bit of digging, going to Amazon.com or any sustainable place, you're likely to find alternatives to styrofoam and plastic. When at home, use these utensils for house parties (if you don't want to break out the China). Take these to your work or school. Also, another plus is that they're microwavable safe so you'll never be put into a dilemma like when you have plastic.
If you don't want to go out and buy these, just stick to the old glass and metal utensils and Tupperware that you can wash and clean and have set for every use. But for my lazy ones, this is the way to go!
5. Look for stamps, seals, and signs!
On any product that you buy, check the tag or product itself for stickers from the EPA and any other different institutions dedicated to providing regulated, safe, and healthy products whether it be food, clothes, or anything else. Some common stamps you might have already seen are the USDA Organic, Fair Trade USA Certified, Energy Star, and EPEAT. To learn more about the signs, symbols, and seals, on your products including wood products, clothes, textiles, housewares, food, electronics and much much more, click here! You won't regret it!
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