Imagine it’s garbage pickup day. That annoying part of the week when everyone around you brings their trash to bins, perhaps brings them to the end of a driveway. Or maybe you have to listen to the early morning clangor and din of a truck upending a dumpster. While we’re throwing everything away, treating trash removal like a magical garbage disappearing act, the average American is, in a lifetime, creating a personal accumulation of trash that’s 600 times their adult weight. While 87% of Americans have curbside trash removal and/or recycling, the landfill magnitude is intimidating.
It’s not surprising to know that human beings are a wasteful species. Modern consumerism has become so easy and quick that things deemed outdated, unneeded, or unwanted find their way into the trash without a second thought. Two types of items are sinister culprits that become outdated, replaced, and improperly disposed of far too often: technology and textiles.
Most people don’t have difficulty remembering a few times when clothing has burst a seam, it’s old, has a stain, doesn’t fit anymore, or it’s intimate (like underwear and socks), and suddenly becomes unwanted. It’s second nature to throw a pair of holey socks or an old torn bedsheets in the garbage, but did you know that in America we make 15 million pounds of discarded textiles each year? Why do this when nearly all of textiles are recyclable?
The energy used in disposing of textiles is massive, while the uses for recycled clothing are vast! When you’ve got a wardrobe full of things you don’t want anymore, try not throwing them out. It may come as a surprise, but donation centers recycle clothing by gifting it to other humans. A great deal of recycled textiles are given to other countries. In the realm of waste, recycling textiles by repeating human use is the most ideal. If that can’t be done, think of using them as crafting materials, cleaning rags, or any number of creative uses. Take the time to keep from unnecessary waste.
Electronic Waste and Recycling
This one’s a doozy. Electronic waste is a problem in domestic and corporate spaces alike. The world of technology evolves at a breakneck pace, leaving “old” tech equipment “outdated” on a seemingly incessant basis. We understand that having the new iPhone or the next best computer. Those outdated pieces of technology find their way into landfills far too often.
While this problem has grown under our noses, technology companies offer recycling services. Technology is reusable in the right places, but environmentally toxic in landfills. Before you think of throwing your old mobile device, computer, or television to be carted to a landfill, trash removal and technology companies have electronic recycling options (among others) that promote sustainable environmental choices. Contact them and find out! A little extra effort on your part makes a difference.
Many people merely think of waste as something undesirable that, once out of sight, is out of mind. In an effort to make more conscious decisions, start with little steps, like the two types of waste above. Eliminate them from your homes and businesses, find sustainable uses, donate, and recycle. The resources are out there, but the ball’s in your court.