Trash Update: Cost of Convenience

Due to the recent Climate Talks in Paris, I thought I should go through my trash. I've recently been terrified by the red smog alert in China. I can't imagine living in a world like that, can you? 

Nine months of trash from zero waste blogger

It got me thinking about the cost of convenience. It's very convenient to ship everything to your door and throw away all of the packaging. It's very convenient to buy individually wrapped snacks for your kids lunch that they throw away at the end of it. It's convenient to buy a plastic water bottle and toss it at the end of your day. But, what's the cost of convenience? 

Zero waste isn't just about fighting to keep this stuff out of landfills. And, it definitely isn't about recycling. It's fighting to reduce our need and dependence for these types of "conveniences." Did you know 10% of the worlds oil is used to make single use plastic? (According to Ed Humes author of Garbology.)

That broccoli tag. Who designed that!? Terrible.  

That broccoli tag. Who designed that!? Terrible.  

Single use plastic is cheap plastic that's meant to last for one use i.e. takeout containers, to go cups, plastic cutlery, what's wrapped around your groceries, etc. It boggles my mind that people think it's more convenient to drill the earth for oil, ship it to a refinery, refine the oil, make it into plastic, shape the plastic, assemble it, ship it to a distributor, then stock it for you to buy on a shelf. 

And, while I can prattle facts off to you all day, the fact is you need to see it. This is what we've done. This is only something we can fix. 

We as consumers have to make the choice to support clean energy, to support sustainable practices, to refuse single-use plastics. Vote with your dollars - that's where they'll hear you. The earth cannot keep up with our current demands. We can't replenish our resources fast enough. We used all that we could safely replenish a year - at the beginning of August. That's five months we're borrowing from next year. Which begs the question - how long until it's gone? 

What you do matters. You can't just throw it away - there is no away.

If you're looking to reduce your waste please check out my posts on food, the workplace, college, and the home. Or check out some more trashy facts