Reduce Your Trash
by Nadia Harper
Reduce garbage, minimize the amount of trash you produce. Why is this important? The trash doesn't leave our planet, it stays right here on our home. We can move it around to different parts of our home and adopt an 'out of sight, out of mind' attitude about it but that doesn't solve the problem.
Imagine for a second if you just took trash that you produced and moved it to another part of your house out of your sight. And imagine you continued to do this week after week. Now ask yourself what your home be like after just a short while of doing this?
At first you wouldn't notice but eventually the odor would permeate through the air and the trash would become visible as you run out of places to hide it. Eventually your house would become very smelly and unhealthy not to mention crowded.
This is the same thing happening on the planet that is our global house. Of course this house is much bigger and it will take much longer to reach those nasty limits we saw in the example above but over time the same thing will happen. And, unfortunately we can see the effects of this happening already.
Add awareness to your days about how much garbage you and your family are producing. Walk lightly on the Earth and don't let your lifetime here come with mounds and mounds of unnecessary garbage. Every little bit counts, teach your children this!
Take a good look at your life.. how many bags of garbage does your family produce each week? How can you cut down on the amount of rubbish you produce?
And remember that like attracts like; if you surround yourself with lots of garbage you will continue to attract more garbage into your life. Garbage in this way can come in many forms; drama, negativity, violence, sickness, gossip, lies, unhealthy relationships, and on and on. If you live a waste filled life how can you truly ever reach your potential?
Learn to make choices every day that lessen the amount of rubbish that you produce.
Here are some ideas;
- Don't use disposable plates, cups, cutlery, etc.
- Don't use disposable straws: Do you really need a straw every single time? If you truly feel attached to using a straw, there are re-usable glass straws available now.
- Use your own take away containers: If you ever get take out food or bring leftovers home from a restaurant, use your own re-usable containers. We keep several empty containers in our car so we have them on hand whenever needed. Styrofoam, that is overused in the food industry NEVER breaks down - it continues to build up and litter our beautiful planet.
- Use your own re-usable drinking container: There are some great bottles/mugs on the market now of all sizes, shapes and colours. Use these for your drinking water and to put your drinks in at take away places. Stop using those plastic bottles of water. They render the water inside unhealthy for your body and they certainly add to our trash problem on the planet.
- Shop at thrift stores, antique malls, yard sales, 2nd hand shops,
etc: Every single time you buy something brand new, the factory that made that item produced an enormous amount of waste in doing so and in getting it to your local store. You can get some amazing bargains on great quality used items if you take just a little time to do it... it is worth every second on so many levels!
- Use your own re-usable bags when shopping: We use cloth bags when shopping for groceries or anything else. Don't take plastic bags or any wasteful wrapping from the store, this is all garbage you do not need.
- Eliminate or reduce your usage of packaged foods: Take a look at how much packaging (ie. garbage) is involved with packaged foods. Anything in a box, can or plastic isn't going to be the most healthy choice for you anyway. So staying away from packaged food saves the garbage buildup on our planet but also saves your health. Go a week only eating fresh produce that you put in your own bags when shopping and just look at how much less garbage you produce.
- Give service or homemade items as gifts: When you need to give a gift, think of giving something that you make or of offering a service you can provide. We often offer to babysit as a gift, this is something that is truly appreciated by busy parents that don't get to get out alone much. You can also give homemade cosmetics, homemade food treats, or just about any craft that you do. If wrapping a gift, try using something usable instead of wasteful. Wrapping paper just produces more garbage.. how about using a handkerchief, towel, sarong, blanket, scarf, re-usable cloth bag, etc.
- Use handkerchiefs and cloth napkins: Do away with tissues, paper towels and disposable napkins. There is no need for them. Give everyone in your home their own collection of handkerchiefs to use. Keep a collection of cloth napkins in your kitchen for eating and for spills. Simply throw them in with your laundry after using.
Be an example to others around you and especially to children around you.
Above are just a few ways that you can reduce the garbage you produce in your life. Be creative to think of all the many other ways there are, and please share in the comments section below.
The above suggestions are really very easy to do and everyone can do these things. It is all about being aware and making healthy choices.
Do you feel you are giving up convenience, like it is too hard or that you just don't want to take the time or make the effort to do these things? Making these kinds of changes is only hard at the beginning, after a while it becomes second nature.
Not only does our planet benefit, but your own life will improve on many levels by reducing the trash that your lifestyle produces - what greater incentive is there?
And as an old Indian proverb says, 'We are not inheriting land from our ancestors, we are borrowing it from our grandchildren' - treat it with respect.
Live lightly on the Earth, it is what gives us life.