I Want To Live More Waste-Free, Because I Care About The Future Of Our Planet
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I Want To Live More Waste-Free, Because I Care About The Future Of Our Planet

Americans create an average of 4.6 pounds of trash every day. That's not a statistic I want to be a part of.

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I Want To Live More Waste-Free, Because I Care About The Future Of Our Planet
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Growing up in a busy family of four, there was more than one occasion in which our trash didn’t make it to the end of the driveway for its weekly pickup. When that happened, it always surprised me how much trash my family accumulated in just one week. Because the 95-gallon trash can was still full from the preceding week, the trash seemed to pile up in our garage, making our waste all the more visible.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) data from 2006 (the most recent data), Americans generated 251 million tons of trash that year. That's 4.6 pounds of trash per person, per day.

While it may not seem like it, 4.6 pounds is a lot of trash. And that’s the number from 12 years ago, the average is probably much higher today. It takes a lot of wrappers and other trash to add up to 4.6 pounds.

With Earth Day coming up this month, I have spent the last few weeks really paying attention to the amount of waste I create every day. Even eating in the dining hall with the reusable utensils and dishes, I create waste by using straws, napkins, wrappers and to-go coffee cups nearly every time I eat. We’re lucky there are services like trash pickup and places to store that waste, but with that, it’s easy to forget how our waste production affects our planet. I want to live more waste-free because I want a cleaner and more resourceful planet for my generations and the ones to follow.

There are some common things people typically talk about as ways to cut back on our carbon footprint. Using a reusable water bottle and recycling cans and bottles, to name a few. Using a reusable water bottle is great, and many college students are cutting back on their waste by doing just that. But it’s not enough.

Some people have dedicated their lives to living waste-free, and that’s something that I’m so intrigued and inspired by. I’ve watched videos of people who have their trash from a year contained to a single mason jar. I create more trash in one day than they have in a year. Living that lifestyle is inspiring, but it seems so impossible. Shampoo bottles, tags off clothes, food wrappers, cereal boxes and so much more are waste that we create and can’t simply stop creating.

Living waste-free, while it shows your care and consideration for your planet, is no easy task. A waste-free lifestyle is not one you can just wake up one day and decide you’re going to adapt to. But, there are some small changes you can make to cut back on the amount of trash you create. I’ve looked into some ideas and read some articles recently on living waste-free and there are several things you can change to cut back on the waste you create. Reusable utensils, napkins, Ziplock bags and even straws can be purchased from Amazon for relatively low prices. Not only will you cut back on your waste, you can save money by not buying napkins, plastic utensils and otherwise.

I’m not going to be buying reusable toilet paper or a bar of shampoo any time soon, but this month and this Earth Day, I’m taking time to think about the waste I produce everyday and the effect it has on the Earth.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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