Archive for September, 2009

A Greener Life

Posted in Being Green on September 23rd, 2009 by Lacey – 1 Comment


In my effort to reduce the amount of garbage I make every day, I’ve been trying to find simple solutions. Of course, to find a solution, you have to really look at your habits and identify what is a problem.  While my habits are undoubtedly similar to those of others, I consider many of those habits “problems,” such as throwing away things that could be recycled (usually this is a convenience issue…less convenient to carry around that plastic bottle than to throw it in a trash bin). This is why I’m not asking anyone else to walk this path with me–this is a personal experiment that I don’t wish to apply to anyone else.  It won’t be easy, and it might be downright annoying, but I feel like I have to try.

Why?  Because this kind of life is not sustainable, no matter how it seems. Do I really need to throw away 4lbs of trash a day? And what is that trash? It’s plastic wrap, paper towels, baby diapers/wipes, and rotting food…  I can compost the paper towels and food. I can either potty train my daughter or start using cloth diapers. I can choose to not buy products covered in plastic or buy products that come in recyclable containers. No one is going to warn me about the environmental choices I’m making by buying this or that, but I know, just by thinking about it, that our world is going to end up like that in Wall-E (but probably worse, and we probably won’t have space cruise ships to take us away from the junk) if we’re not more responsible.

While this is an extreme example of what I am trying to accomplish, these folks lived a full year only producing one small bag of garbage.  They were inspired by The Story of Stuff–which in turn, inspired me, as well (it’s a clever 20 minute video which everyone reading this should watch).

The idea for this blog came to me as I was falling asleep one night recently. I was reflecting on my day and closing mental doors, preparing for sleep…but as my mind wandered, my mind settled on the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, but I got to thinking about how that “landfill at sea” is 80% plastic.  I have no idea if these floating garbage swaths can be cleaned, but I do know that plastic is recyclable, and if people were more responsible about recycling that we wouldn’t have the mess to begin with.

That led me to realize that recycling is an individual’s responsibility. Why not the government? Everyone knows we can’t count on Mom and Dad to do everything for us–we have to make smart choices for ourselves and do what we know is right. It’s just a bonus when the government is willing to provide curbside recycling or public containers for paper/plastic/aluminum.  Is this effort going to be inconvenient? Probably, but not THAT inconvenient. As Americans, everything is about convenience and frankly, marketing has taught us to want more convenience.  I think we should rewind and really THINK about our choices, especially when it comes to what we buy and what we throw away.  I’m ready to slow down and think more.

So, the purpose of this blog is to document all those little ways that I can reduce my negative environmental impact.  I don’t plan on forcing this choice on my family, friends, or anyone I work with, but I hope that through my process of failures and successes that someone will be inspired to reduce their own consumption and think about their own impact on the Earth. Here we go!

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