By Ramon Colon www.zerowastedude.com
This year I realized how big of a problem we have with the waste we produce. If you search for any waste topic, within minutes you will become overwhelmed and depressed. You will be buried in images and videos showing you what our grandparents, parents and ourselves have done to the environment. Almost all goods come packaged. We buy bread that comes in a bag inside another bag, and then we place it in a shopping bag to take it home, and when we are done, we disposed of all three bags in the trash as if those bags would somehow end up in the manufacturer to then bag a new loaf of bread. We purchase everything in plastic bottles because we think is cheaper. We have plastics in our landfills, parks, rivers, and oceans. We have a problem, and this problem won’t get fixed by recycling, but by modifying the way we consume products.
“Placing a box or a can or a bottle in a recycling bin doesn’t mean you’ve recycled anything, and it doesn’t make you a better, greener person: it just means you’ve outsourced your problem.” – Adam Minter
After realizing that we can solve this problem by being more selective on what we consume, we also get overwhelmed because everything we consume comes in plastic. You don’t think you will be overwhelmed? Next time you go to the grocery store, try to purchase your entire groceries list without any plastic packaging. Once you realize that you can only buy potatoes you will feel like you are in a dark long tunnel with no exits.
But I want you to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel instead of the tunnel itself.
Instead of learning how long is the tunnel, focus on what you can do to reach the light. Maybe is just taking your reusable bags to the grocery store and therefore not consuming 7 plastic bags that one week. Now do that for 52 weeks and that small change became 364 plastic bags that you didn’t consume in a year’s period. Rather than getting overwhelmed by how huge the problem is, focus on the little things you can do to make a difference no matter how small it might seem. But there is a secret to getting out of the tunnel, you can’t stay still. Once you get used to your reusable bags, maybe you would like to try something as simple as getting a metal canteen to reduce the plastic water bottles that you consume. Link: https://zerowastedude.com/2018/12/05/saving-the-world-one-water-bottle-at-a-time/ The idea is that you continue to reduce the waste you generate in increments instead of all at once. The execution of little ideas will deliver you a big payout. I am sure this is something you can use in other areas of your life besides reducing your waste.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.” – Chinese Proverb
What small change can you implement today that would help reduce your waste consumption?