Firstly, I would like to apologise to those of you who have commented over the past couple of months for not replying to your comments. I do read your words and value your input, however, too often I set them aside with grand plans to reply ‘later’ and ‘later’ does not happen. I have gone back and tried to fill in the blanks and have promised myself that I will do better in 2017. Thank you for sticking with me.
I had already written the title for this post when I realised that I had used an identical title in February last year. You can read it here. Perhaps it is a new year that makes us reassess what we are doing in a variety of ways. Reducing our carbon footprint, minimising our reliance on single-use items, supporting ethical businesses, taking stock of our possessions are just some of the ways we can make a difference to our own lives as well as the lives of others and of course, the health of the planet.
I read something recently where someone commented that if everyone had to deal with their own rubbish rather than just wheeling a bin to the kerb then they would think differently about what they acquire – both in goods and packaging. Of all the articles and discussions I have read, this makes more sense than most.
It is easy to get jaded when the discussion is about where the nearest supermarket is that accepts soft plastics for recycling. Do you think that shoving a bundle of soft plastic bags and packaging into a supposed recycling collection point absolves you from making any additional effort to reduce your waste? Do you really believe that soft plastics are actually recycled? Have you any idea how much energy is required to recycle materials into new products? Is it true that plastic can only be recycled once? And the absolute no-brainer….. Did you know that plastic is made from oil which is a finite resource? That means it will run out one day!
This is just one example of where it would be far better to make or buy a few sturdy fabric bags to transport shopping and other goods.
Give up shopping as a pastime, buy only what you actually need……that is need, not want and remember that recycling should be a last resort, not an easy option to salve your conscience.
Call me cynical, but I do whatever I can to minimise the amount of recycling I produce because I am not convinced that my efforts end up reaping results. I have heard that if there is any contamination found in an entire truckload of recyclables then the whole load is dumped. Whether or not that is true, I would much rather save any cardboard and newspapers that we acquire and use it as a mulchable weed mat in the garden. Smaller pieces of paper are shredded and used as bedding for the chickens and then finally make their way to the compost.
Tomorrow I will discuss the concept of zero-waste and what it means to me.