Some people dislike New Year Resolutions, but I’m not one of them. Although there’s no reason to wait till a new year to make changes, it can be a nice incentive to reflect and make personal adjustments to one’s life.
Low Waste for the New Year
If you read my recent Editor Notes you already know that I’ve decided to make some edits to this site and myself. One of those edits is how much I consume.
Of all the problems in the world, I believe that climate change is one of the most serious ones. I’ve been listening to others speak about how we can stop global warming since I was a kid and given our current national politics, it appears that individual action may be the best recourse. Of course, it would be nice for our government to actually do something to stop the death of our planet. However, just because its dragging its feet doesn’t mean we have to.
What Is Low Waste + Why It’s Important
Hence why I started evaluating how I was impacting the environment. I decided to think about going low waste after viewing a bunch of Youtube videos on the subject, like this one.
Fear not, going low or zero waste doesn’t have to be all mason jars full of used teabags and wrappers. Like the name suggest, low waste is a lifestyle switch, focused on creating less trash. This is done by:
- Consuming less
- Becoming more conscious of what and how we consume
- Committing to more sustainable practices
According to the EPA, the average American produces a little more than 4 pounds of trash per day. This comes in the form of discarded plastic and glass bottles, magazines, packages, clothes and shoes. Multiply that number by 365 days and the typical person creates more than 1,000 pounds of trash per year. Yikes!
To make matters worse, not everything can and should be recycled, which means it’s really up to us to make the better choices.
Ways to Minimize Waste
There are many ways to live more environmentally conscious. Some of these ways can include:
- Adopting a plant based diet
- Having a no-buy year
- Using less transportation
- Reusing containers
- Recycling what you can + upcycling the rest
While it’s tempting to dive head first into low or zero waste living, sustainability is generally key to lasting change. Because of this, I’ve decided to pick several areas in my life where I create the most waste and find ways to minimize or eliminate them all together.
I hate to admit it, but I’m a huge plastic user. Plastic water bottles, beauty supplies packaged in plastic, plastic storage…it’s bad.
Since the NYS DEC (Department of Environmental Conservation) will be enforcing a ban of plastic bags in March of this year, I thought attacking my use of the material would be a good place to start. Stay tuned, because I have lots of posts and video plans on how I intend to attack this issue, as well as how I’m going to be practicing a more low waste lifestyle.
Hudson Valley based writer.