If you really analyze what you use in a day, you will quickly realize that it is so easy to constantly use single use items all day, every day. I mean, they were made for convenience and they are convenient. But once you have a system, it will be so easy
Here’s an example day that generates a lot of waste: Breakfast bar wrappers, followed by morning coffee at the drive-thru. Microwave “Noodle in a Bowl” lunch with a plastic spoon, followed by snacks in single use ziptop baggies. At dinner, you cook chicken that came packaged in a plastic vacuum container and veggies that came in a plastic bag. Don’t forget about gum wrappers, pill packages, and drinks with straws.
I challenge you to this – take note of what you are doing and find out if you are unknowingly using a lot of plastic or single use items. Picture the amount you use in one day and multiply by the number of people in your family times 365 days. It’s probably a mountain of trash. What would you do with all of that trash if you didn’t have municipal waste to whisk it away out of sight, out of mind? You probably would run out of space on your property at home, so you’d have to figure out how to generate less waste.
Well that is exactly what I am proposing you do, because the reality is even if you put everything into the recycling bin, the vast majority of stuff destined for recycling actually ends up in landfills. And most of our trash is taking thousands of years to degrade and also ends up in waterways, in oceans, and in the bellies of animals.
Here are some actionable steps:
– Use glass dishes with lids to store leftovers instead of a bowl with cling film
– Use a to-go cup to get coffee instead of a single use cup. Keep a spare cup at your desk at work for a mid-day coffee run as well as another one at home.
– Pack your homemade lunch in a reusable container instead of ordering food in a takeout container with plastic utensils
– Use biodegradable garbage bags
– Use reusable straws or ask your bartender for no straw
– Use small dishrags instead of paper towels. So what if you wipe up a spill on the floor? Just throw it into your wash bin and keep a big pile handy for the next mess. You’ll quickly realize you were blowing through paper towels at an alarming rate.