With the feasting and gifting that go on during the holiday season come the waste from discarded ribbons and food. This winter, while still enjoying each other’s company this winter, it’s important to keep the environment in mind.
Even though it constitutes less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the U.S. ranks first among 195 countries in wastefulness.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, we produce over 220 million tons of waste a year. This includes the extra 1 million tons of waste generated from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.
Imagine how much our environment suffers from the toxins released during incineration of trash. Think about how full our landfills are getting. To put it into perspective, just picture the garbage in your kitchen overflowing with apple cores and moldy leftovers, and the fact that you just let it sit there for maggots to make their homes.
There is so much we can do to prevent this extra waste and also remove the title of “Most Wasteful Country” from our international résumé.
My family doesn’t compost but is very mindful of what we cook and eat. We usually plan meals in advance in order to maximize the use of our groceries. This way, there are not a lot of leftovers or produce that will go bad in the fridge.
If you have a garden, your plants could use the extra nutrient boost from the fruit and veggie scraps from composting. Think about all the leftovers from the parties and feasts hosted during this season.
Another thing we do at home is recycle. Paper waste, cans, cardboard, and plastic bottles are taken out daily in order to prevent the laziness that leads to tossing them into the garbage can. Many times, we will flatten cardboard boxes that come with.
Another option is to forgo gift-boxing altogether. Opt for the DIY guru approach by turning old newspapers and book pages into wrapping paper!
The point is, you may feel like trash (as a result of the election results perhaps) but that does not mean we should allow our country to look like trash. Take the environment into consideration next time you are about to toss half-eaten dinners or throw away reusable resources. Do you really take pride in living in the most wasteful country?