Updated: Aug 9, 2020
It's been a week and a bit now since we've been told to self-distance ourselves from our friends and family. So many of us have probably been catching up on some sleep if we're not checking out the latest TikTok dance challenge or being asked to do push-ups, take shots, or post a photo of ourselves on instagram! Oh, the joys of social media!
Some of us are taking this matter more lightly than others, and I can count myself guilty for wanting to be around as many people as I possibly can. That being said, I've been doing a poor job at social distancing and have come to a realization that I am not as introverted as I thought I was. And, although I love the fact that it's so easy to do group video chats and I am spending a lot more time with my sister, which we've been neglecting since last fall, I have to do a better job at isolating myself so that I can actually enjoy my summer, go on that trip to Mexico (that we had to cancel), and spend physical time with my family this year.
But this was besides the point of my post. I guess you can say it's lead me to my next point. Over the weekend, we had a couple friends over (so much for social distancing), and we got into an "argument" about how the earth needed a breath of fresh air. And a lot of what the debate consisted of was the importance of educating others on recycling, how reducing the use of single use plastic makes such a big difference, and what that means to us and Earth.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering.. How could you possibly argue about that? I also thought the same thing. All this time, I just thought people would all think the same way about recycling - That the constant posts all over social media was put into consideration that you know, You're right! Humans ARE ruining the Earth! And yet, I found myself literally trying to put my 2 cents in during this conversation about why it was up to us to educate our loved ones and not doing so can result far worse than what is going on right now.
"Why is it up to me to educate others when I'm not passionate about it?"
"I'm already doing my part by not using a plastic bag"
"It's like a religion, if I don't believe that it will actually make a difference, why do it?"
I know right? Can you believe that actually came out of someones mouth? Mind you, we were pretty drunk by the time we started to argue about this. And there's nothing wrong with someone speaking out about their own opinion. To each their own. But wow!!!!!!
I thought about it more after the fact and it made me.... Pretty angry! Anyone that has social media would have at least come across one post about COVID-19. And some of you may have also seen theories that this is a sign from the Earth as well. That we abused it long enough, and it wasn't going to be World War 3 that would kill man kind, it was a virus that would spread around the world, one with no cure, and one that humans had yet to discover. It was killing us one by one. So what on Earth does that have to do with recycling? Absolutely-Fucking-Nothing! But, it has a lot to do with how we treat it.
Here are 3 things I'd like to make clear to everyone wondering why it's so damn important..
1. If not YOU, then WHO?
I've said this many times before and will sound like a broken record when I say that millions of people out there think the same damn way. "It's just ONE straw"; "It's just ONE plastic bag"; "It's just ONE coffee cup or water bottle". If there were ONE million people saying that within 24 hours of the day, that is ONE million STRAW, PLASTIC BAG, COFFEE CUP or WATER BOTTLE being put into our landfill. Now imagine you saying that Every. Single. Day. You contributed to a wasteland which our children will call Earth. Make the change. It's as easy as that.
2. Biodegradable is great but cutting it out completely is better.
I applaud major companies making a difference in their products. Creating biodegradable to-go containers, paper straws, and bamboo cutlery. They are all aiming down the right direction. But it doesn't always mean that just cause it's available, it should be used. The purpose of completely cutting it out is so you learn about the term one-and-done. Although these products degrade a lot faster than plastic, it is still contributing to our waste, it is still added to the toxic air pollution, it's still on earth way longer than how long you used it for. You use it once but you leave it on earth for more than what it was intended for. Like I said before, cut out the middle man, bring your own cup, use your own cutlery. Honestly, companies would gain a lot more money if they didn't have to purchase these things anyway. You're making a bigger impact if you just stop using it at all.
3. You may not see a difference, but take a look outside of your bubble.
I live in Winnipeg, literally the middle of Canada. There are no bodies of water (Ocean), no rainforest or creatures. You get the same year round weather of -40 degrees to extreme hot warnings. Overall, you wouldn't see much of a change. And if you stick to what you see in your bubble, you will never be able to see the bigger picture. If you're not willing to educate yourself on what is going on around you, that's on you. But understand and fully grasp that there is more meaning to your future and the future of your kids, grandkids, and their kids then you can possibly imagine. I think about this all the time - How the hell did we get put on this Earth? To what? Tear it apart and ruin all of its beauty? If we step outside of our bubble, it's obvious and clear in sight that landfills will sooner take over every inch of our Earth. Where do you think all your garbage is going? Just vanishing into space? No. It's being put into third world countries, with other people just like you, except they have to live in your garbage, breath in your polluted-contributed air, due to your waste - Your landfill. It's an awful picture to wrap your mind around, and a lot of us are too oblivious, too privileged, too damn scared to see what is out there. Which is why it is up to the passionate ones to speak out loud about it and to educate others. And at the end of the day, it's up to you to realize what's important here.
So there's my rant for the day... It's already Saturday so this weekend I promise to be better at physical-distancing. But before I go, I want to know what you think? Have you taught anyone recently what can or cannot go into your recycling bin? Do you know that yourself? Have you gotten into the habit of bringing your own grocery bag or your own coffee cup to work? Have you picked up any hobbies while social distancing? Honestly, anything!
Leave me a message - I'd love to hear from you!
Until next time.