One beer bottle. One zip lock baggie. Three water bottles. Lots of junk mail. Serval paper towels. Don’t even know how much toilet paper. Oh and I bought my husband lunch, which included the wrapper around the sandwich, plastic bottle from the lemonade and potato chip bag (I opted out of the paper to go bag). I think that’s about it for today (so far).
That was a small list of everything I can remember throwing away today. And that’s just the things I can remember. But what are most of those things? Single use items that we don’t even think twice about. We use them for maybe minutes at a time and then they are in the trash. Does anyone else find that just the smallest bit disturbing? Well Colin Beavan, the author of No Impact Man: The adventure of a guilty liberal who attempts to save the planet and the discoveries he makes about himself and our way of life in the process did.
This is the newest book that I have started reading. So far I am only about a third of the way into this book, but it has already spoken very loudly to me. I have read many books about minimal living, decluttering, living greener, and being vegan (which does have less of an impact on our planet in so many ways). I currently recycle, compost, try not to use many to go items when ordering food (such as plastic forks, straws or to go bags), keep our heat and ac set at higher or lower then normal settings, turn off lights oh and did I mention I’m vegan? But I’ve never really took the time to think about how much waste we all make from just convenience items. One time use items. The life span of these items is usually less then, lets say, 30mins and then they are off in the trash. Some may make it into a recycle bin, but then what? How many are actually recycled? I’ve read, items like pizza boxes, that you would think would be recyclable, usually aren’t. If food/grease is absorbed into such items, they are usually discarded as trash do to the process in which cardboard and paper products are recycled.
And what about all the other items that make it passed the 30min time span, but are still discarded when they are no longer useful? Think razor blades, toothbrushes, diapers, feminine products and so on. The list is staggering and the trash mounds and trash islands are growing. These are real life issues. This waste effects everyone and everything. Most of the trash we produce goes into the land, water and air. Into our planet. And in ways that are further explained in his book, one way or another, back into our bodies. I am looking forward to finishing this book and hopefully committing to making some further changes in my everyday life. As well as sharing what I have learned right here with hopes of reaching some more people. I may not become the next No Impact Woman, but I would like to be a Less Impact one for sure.