TRASH.

Happy Monday! Here’s to an awesome first week of October.

America produces more trash per person than almost any other place in the world. As a society, we have become dependent on the invention of disposable products and packaging that came about in the 20th century.

Here are a couple tidbits of information about waste to get you thinking:

  • Americans throw away about 28 billion pounds of food waste each year.
  • The average American uses approximately 500 plastic bags per year, and each bag is used on average for only 25 minutes
  • Most communities spend more money to deal with trash than they do on schoolbooks and fire protection

It is time for us to reduce our waste production!

While humans still produce a lot of trash, there is still hope! Over the years I have been seeing more and more divided waste bins in public. Usually they are divided into two or three sections: waste, recycle, and sometimes, compost. These can make a huge difference in how much waste gets sent to landfills, because people have the options right in front of them.

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Three-part waste disposable in San Francisco, CA

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Waste and recycle options in  Walt Disney World

So, how can you make a difference? Start dividing up your waste. Most communities have recycling services alongside trash collection. Usually all you have to do is contact your local government to get a recycling bin or a recycling sticker to put on a bin of your own. Composting can be a little more difficult, as usually there aren’t collection services for it, but there are private organizations who collect compost material in order to turn it into soil. Or, start composting in your own back yard! I will have more information about composting in blog posts to come.

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If you are interested in starting your own compost, there are even businesses that will offer some of their composting material to customers. Some McDonald’s locations have begun to offer their coffee grounds for customers to put in their garden. This is such a positive step in the right direction, as big fast food companies are some of the biggest culprits of filling landfills with disposable plastics. Let’s make progress one step at a time!

 

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