Where does it all go? No one cares!
I watched a documentary recently, I can’t recall the name at the moment, but it was all about waste and recycling. The featured family was challenged to keep all their garbage for a month. Instead of having it conveniently taken away by the garbage truck a couple times a week they were to store it ALL in their garage to see just how much they accumulate.
The point, was to become more AWARE of the volume of waste created by that family, something most of us never think about because our waste is constantly out of sight out of mind.
Something happened to me this morning that absolutely inspired this post.
I MISSED THE GARBAGE TRUCKS.
In our area the garbage and recycling is picked up only once per week. We have a huge recycling can and two huge garbage cans provided by the city. We typcially fill the recycling can to the very brim and produce approximately one full garbage can of non-recyclable waste each week. Today, with my having missed the trucks, we will have to hang on to our garbage and recyclables for another week and will most likely run out of space in the three cans. Gasp! This means we might have to LOOK at our garbage.
This has got me wondering, if our waste and your waste did not magically disappear every couple of days or once a week, and instead was left to accumulate in our very own mini-landfills in our back yards or next to our houses, do you think we’d be a little less wasteful and a lot more mindful of all the products, packaging and non-biodegradable waste we create?
I can tell you with absolute certainty that anyone who uses disposable diapers on one child knows the weight and amount of extra (stinky) garbage it creates. Garbage pails so weighed down with disposable diapers you can barely lift it. I used disposables on my twin sons until they were 4 months old. The waste, was UNREAL.
Cloth vs Disposables
We can disagree and will disagree on the cost of cloth vs disposables, the amount of trees and crude oil used to create disposables vs the amount of water and electricity it takes to wash cloth diapers, the heath risks or health benefits of cloth vs. disposables and so on.
But NO ONE can dispute the sheer amount of waste created by disposables compared to cloth diaper use. I dare you to try. I ask that you put all those other factors aside if you must and take cloth diapers into consideration for this ONE REASON alone, you aren’t creating your own personal landfill.
Every little thing we can do to reduce, reuse and recycle adds up and makes an impact. The one BIG thing we can do is use cloth diapers instead of disposables. One of my favorite things to point out to people every time I talk about cloth diaper use is what a HUGE difference they can make by simply using one cloth diaper a day. Just one cloth diaper change a day erases a pile of 365 soiled disposable diapers from your local landfill.
I challenge you to think about others, think about our legacy, our future, and when I say “our” I mean “mankind’s”. Just because you won’t be around to look at it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t care about our planet and the impact we’re having on it. Modern day archaeologists are uncovering ancient burial mounds, pyramids and the ruins of great cities and monuments. Future archaeologists will be uncovering toxic waste and miles of landfills if we all aren’t careful.
You don’t have to be a tree-hugging hippie to choose cloth, you just have to have common sense.