Superheros have been around in stories passed down many generations. But, I have yet to hear the story of the superhero that really matters. You and I! We are the real superheroes, we might not have super strength, super speed, or laser beam projecting eyes. The power that we have is cognitive thinking and unity. These two seemingly simple concepts can progress our society as a whole to be superheroes!
Let us be honest for just a minute, the world is not doing so hot right now. We can leave the “woe is me” chat for others. We are going to fix this! Using some simple things given to us already, our cognitive decisions and unity. We know what needs to be done and how to do it. The next step is applying these techniques as a group.
The saying Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle has been around since the first earth day in 1970. We can dive into this further and explain just how this can save our beautiful world.
Reduction is the main concept that drives the other two. Reduce your use of single-use items, These include plastic silverware, plastic to-go cups, straws, and plastic shopping bags just to name some of the more common items. These items usually end up in our oceans and doing harm to the marine animals that roam near the contaminated sites. Look into purchasing reusable shopping bags, coffee mugs, and reusable straws. These items are all very affordable and can lead to an incredible reduction in waste output. Some places may even reward you with a discount for bringing your own mugs, straws, or containers. With that said try tallying your trash for one week and see how many items were single use. You may be very surprised at the amount that is filling up your trash bin! As you whittle away at these single-use items you will feel so satisfied that you have been making a conscious effort to better the world around you.
There are simply some things that you can not avoid and will seem to likely have no more use. However, if an item around the house breaks doesn’t be so quick to throw it in the trash to go out and get a new one. First, check to see if any repair can be made so that it can still be utilized. If it can’t be utilized for its original purpose look for a secondary use. Some examples of this would be a broken gutter, this could be turned into a nice garden bed. A broken swing set or any item with wood that breaks think of using as a trellis. You aren’t a big gardener or already have the latest and greatest garden and you don’t need these items, then you could put the item up for a new home! There are many sites that make this easy such as craigslist or freecycle. With these, you can post a picture of your item and someone who wants it and can make sure it doesn’t end up in a landfill will take it to its new home.
Reusing also includes things such as composting. Composting hasn’t quite taken off like recycling but it is a very important step in saving the planet, and luckily also pretty simple to do! All your fruits, vegetables, scraps of paper, and yard clippings can be composted. Simply dig a small hole in your backyard and you can fill that thing up with organic scraps!
By now, most people have a recycling bin and generally utilize it. The major point that needs to be hit on is to make sure you know your recycling laws in your area. Make sure to be maximizing the number of items that you are sending to be recycled instead of rotting in the landfill. Recycling technology has continually gotten more efficient to allow for us to really be able to utilize the items sent back. Keep a list of things on your trash bin and the recycling bin that can be recycled so you are forced to make an active decision to either recycle or throw away an item. What you may or may not know is that many electronics can be recycled in some way. This is most common for cell phones if your cell phone needs an upgrade be sure to talk to your provider about taking back your old phone to properly scrap and reuse the electronic device. However, electronic waste, E-waste, extends beyond that into stereos, VCRs, and DVD players. Electronics are thrown away at a staggering rate. It is estimated that in the US alone about 9.4 million tons of electronic waste is sent to landfills. Progressing more of these towards reuse or recycling would eliminate a heavy portion of waste in our landfills.
We can come together as the superheroes we are to protect our planet for generations to come.
Think green, friends