The United States is home to only four percent of the Earth’s population, yet it alone is responsible for producing more than 30 percent of the planets total waste. It seems like garbage is going to swallow us whole, but we only have ourselves to blame. That is why now is the time to start helping yourself and our irreplaceable home before this becomes irreversible.
As Americans, we can reduce the large waste stream by trying to go zero waste, which is reducing your landfill waste to zero by refusing single item use and reusing anytime you can. Going zero waste can help save you money while slowing the large stream of garbage in America. At home is one of the easiest places to reduce waste simply because it is a controlled environment, you choose what goes in and what goes out.
Our homes are full of everyday items that we mindlessly use because they’re items that you wouldn’t even think twice about using. This includes razors, plastic toothbrushes, tea bags, and menstrual products, which are only some of the things that most of us use frequently, that have such a high environmental cost. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), we throw away 2 billion razors every year which are practically impossible to recycle and that’s a lot of money in the garbage as well. This is why knowing the small damages that you unintentionally contribute to, can help you make better decisions for yourself and the environment. An alternative for disposable razors are eco-friendly safety razors which cost about $15 to $40, with replacement blades costing only $3. This information was found through a quick google search of alternative eco friendly razors, which took less than 5 minutes to read up on. In other words, it does not take much to educate yourself and the people around you.
Things such as straws, plastic water bottles, toilet paper, and plastic packaging are some of the biggest contributors to our personal waste. The average person uses 50 pounds of toilet paper per year which can also be costly on your budget. A bidet shower (also known as “bidet sprayer”), an eco-friendly alternative, is a hand-held triggered nozzle, that delivers a spray of water to assist in cleansing in the bathroom. Reusable bottles could potentially save you $6,000 in 5 years while saving about 29 thousand bottles from a landfill. Using reusable Tupperware to bring food with you to work, school or wherever you may be going, as well as using it to store food in your fridge can save you from using one-time use bags. By doing all of these small things, you will save money, help yourself, the environment and inspire those around you to do the same.
Most of our single use items are due to convenience, but a simple change in our habits will reduce waste and help save our planet that is drowning in waste. People think their small changes don’t make a difference, but the small changes, especially when more and more people start this trend, add up to big changes.
Going zero waste is not expensive, though most people think it is or might. Reusable items will save you money because you won’t need to replace them as often or at all. With the average person producing a whole seven pounds of waste a day, we need to hold ourselves accountable and question ourselves about where our trash going. While some of our trash can be burned, most of it cannot due to the type of chemical emissions it releases into our atmosphere and environment.
It is your responsibility to take action to further protect not only Mother Earth but your future self and many future generations. As the majority of us come together to find ways to better protect our planet from ourselves, we will inspire, start trends, and ultimately start a chain reaction that will help this environmental crisis that we all feel is so much bigger than us.