This recent headline caught my attention: “California has a recycling crisis. The only way to solve it is to stop making so much trash“.
Since China stopped accepting recyclable materials, California is not the only place that is accumulating excess garbage, it is becoming a problem everywhere.
While recycling can help put a dent in the problem, it is not a solution. The Los Angeles Times Editorial has it right when they say we need to stop making so much trash.
Take a look at something as simple as plastic bags. The plastic bag problem continues to grow, they litter our environment, kill land animals and endanger marine life. All in the name of convenience.
They have become so convenient it is hard to break the habit.
What would happen if stores stopped providing plastic bags? If you are going shopping, you know you are going to need to carry home your purchases, so why not get in the habit of taking reusable bags to carry your items home? You know you are going to have to pay for what ever it is you buy, so you take your wallet with you. Just take it one step further and bring what you need to transport your purchase.
If stores stopped providing plastic bags, but had available for purchase reusable bags, how long do you think it would take for people to remember to bring their own reusable bags?
In Dr. Shafer’s article How We Think About Green his description of how the Cambodian countryside “presents a picture perfect example of a land drowning in the toxic excrement of its own rush toward a better life” is how the whole world will eventually be if we do not get our act together and “stop making so much trash”.
It is up to each of us as individuals to solve the “recycling crisis”.