We are beautiful humans who do a tremendous amount of good. However, we are also having an undeniable negative impact on our planet. Our carbon footprint is one measurement that has indicated that we are changing the world and leaving behind more than our fair share. I want this human-life experience to be interconnected with all other living things. I am dedicated to taking a close look at how to empower humans to live in a world that nourishes life not destroys it.
The first question I asked myself is, why is trash harmful in the first place?
Well, for starters, it hurts wildlife. Thousands of birds and fish become entangled in our trash and die each year, and we know that animals are paramount to this planet. It is our benevolent duty to coexist with them.
We all understand that trash piles up. We need to start taking active measures to address this issue because we are filling up our landfills. This is not a sustainable solution, as we will run out of land eventually.
Another solution our municipalities use to deal with trash is to burn it!
Yes, we burn our trash…
Currently, there are 86 incinerators across 25 states burning about 29 million tons of garbage annually. But, and this is a big but, burning trash is hurting our ozone layer, which is simply our only layer of protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation. As we burn trash, harmful gases escape into the atmosphere and create gaps in the ozone layer. This increases the potency of dangerous rays from the sun and makes the earth a slightly harsher environment year after year.
So what can we do?
I believe that a terrific motto for every individual to have is the concept of leave no trace in his or her everyday life. In essence, it is an extension of the trash Carry In / Carry Out principle, which started off with hikers who would backpack deep into the wilderness. Any trash that they might carry in should be carried out. This means that if you bring along a couple of energy bars for a snack, you need to carry these wrappers out instead of leaving them on the trailside. This is so simple, widely accepted and practiced in the outdoor enthusiast industry.
Given that this leave no trace principle is so effective, I would like to adopt this in our everyday lives. For me, it’s about forming good habits by consciously choosing products that have a circular lifespan. In essence, choosing products that have no waste or products that generate waste that can be reused into something useful.
We all need to be apart of the solution in order to find long-term success.
It’s crucial that we stop humans from filling the world with trash.
We need to preserve this planet for future generations and can only do so with a collective effort. A leave no trace and trash carry in / carry out mindset is an excellent principle that everyone should be following. I kindly ask that you join me in this commitment.