This week on Good Morning America they have been doing a series on Garbage in America. It has been interesting to say the least. One day they talked about the trash in our waterways. It was really disturbing to find out that the fish that is caught for our consumption often has plastic inside. The trash that is thrown into the water (accidentally or otherwise) is eaten by the fish. Lots of plastic ends up in the water for some reason (the kind of plastic that is super easy to recycle in most areas of our country).

Apparently, the US generates more garbage than any other country in the world. Lovely. I believe it is estimated that each person will throw out 64 tons of garbage in a life time. Yikes. One day they showcased a man who saved all his trash for a year in his basement (yuck). At the end of the year he put it out on the lawn to show exactly how much it was. Astonishing. And he was just one guy who composted and reused things. I bet if we could see the amount of trash we, as families, generated in a year it would prompt us to make changes. How, you ask? The young man who saved his trash gave us some ideas:
  • Composting (this is a big thing & something I don't do for several reasons but I have been tempted)
  • Drinking tap water. I don't have numbers but the # of plastic bottles we go through is unbelievable. Get a water filter or R/O (reverse osmosis) system, a few stainless steel bottles and you can zap that bottled water habit. (We have an R/O and only buy bottled water when we are traveling or camping)
  • Invest in some reusable, cloth shopping bags. Watch your plastic stash dwindle to next to nothing. (I use the reusable bags and have really gotten into a good habit of remembering to take them to the store with me. The best one I have came from Whole Foods, it is big and strong-great for heavy items. I don't think it was one of the 99 cent deals you get at other stores but it is well worth the extra $ - made from recycled plastic bottles)
  • Reuse. Anything you can. Sandwich bags. Tin foil. Margarine containers. Kids Cuisine containers (great for snacks later on w/ the little compartments). Bread bags. A quick wash and these things are ready for their next life.

I am sure everyone has at least one other idea to add to that. It is really something to think about when you go to toss something in the trash. I know that the more 'whole foods' I buy the less waste I have. So maybe it's something to think about at the store before you buy. I know that each Sunday when I take out the trash I will be thinking about where it ends up and how I could have used less that week...


*carrie* said…

Yikes--that would be quite an experiment to "save" all your trash for a year.

The author family I mentioned today (4 people) had a weekly trash load of one small grocery bag. I find that inspiring and challenging!

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