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A Three Year Journey

Did you know- EcoGeneration’s page is officially 3 years old today! When I started this page, I couldn’t have imagined the journey I set out on. Thank you all for your support, and continued interest in working to reduce our collective impact on the planet.

It is a mixed reaction day. While we turn 3 today, today also happens to be Earth Overshoot Day. A day that I dread yearly, and have always worked to raise awareness and generate individual actions to #MoveTheDate. While the date was moved this year, was it moved far enough? No. We need to move the date further, and through more action than getting a reprieve due to world wide stay at home orders implemented to curb the spread of Covid-19. The epiphany we can have, and should have from the last several months? The lesson is, Mother Earth CAN be repaired. We can reverse course, and work to coexist with the planet we call home. Our individual actions can have a massive impact, if we let it.

For us to #MoveTheDate we have to start rethinking how we approach life, the economy, resource use, resource reuse, and the end of life for the resources we use. It is not enough to recycle. We have seen how this approach has failed in maintaining a sustainable balance with our planet. If recycling was 'perfect', in that it captured all recyclable materials from residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, and energy development sectors- it still wouldn't be enough. We have to start making things last longer. We have to stop our disposable lifestyles if we hope to see a world where Earth Overshoot Day is no longer an issue.

Today, I ask that everyone reading this, work to reuse each item you get at least once, prior to disposal or recycling. Use that yogurt container as a storage container for a few months. Reuse that grocery bag as a garbage bag in a smaller can. Open up large film wrappers carefully to use that as a kitchen garbage bag. Doing things like this, actively working to reduce the number of new items bought, will have a greater impact than recycling the film or deciding to purchase tote boxes to organize your life. Yes, it is far better that you use the plastic film wrapper and/or grocery bags for trash and send them to a landfill than it is to recycle them all. Why you ask? Even recycled garbage bags contain some virgin plastic or polymers. Not to mention, why sent a bag like item that already exists, to be remade into the same item?

When I started a Facebook page, I never thought I’d be working three years later to divert thousands of pounds of waste out of the landfill. My intention was to share information, in an attempt to have an impact on a few people. Perhaps I’d convince a few people to rethink how they approach their waste, consumption habits, and disposal habits. Look at how this small act of curiosity, and intent to touch even just one person's life has been amplified beyond my wildest dreams.

You too can have an impact. It just takes a small goal, some initiative, and dedication. I couldn’t have done it without all of you, and I am here to support you all in your journeys. With each choice you make, you are able to have influence beyond what you see. When was the last time you discussed plastic use in your household? This simple conversation, initiated by you, can help the individuals in your household reduce their plastic footprints. Every act we can take, to reduce our individual average of 185 pounds of plastic waste per year (United States), is a step in the right direction.

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