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Planet Earth: Our Loving Home

Innovative Ideas for Living More Sustainably, Part 1 of 3

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On today’s program, we’ll look at one important way to protect our Earth: reducing trash production. Mr. Rob Greenfield, a US adventurer, environmental activist, and humanitarian, decided to clearly illustrate the impact of our “throw-away” society. To do so, Rob lived the life of a typical US resident for 30 days. But instead of discarding the garbage he created, he wore it. “I have been living just like the average American for the last month in New York City. Eating, shopping, consuming just like so many of us are used to. With one big exception, I've been wearing every single piece of trash that I create everywhere I go.”

Wow! If one person can generate this much trash in a month, think of the impact of billions of people! So, what are some of the best ways to reduce waste? By searching the internet for “zero waste” or “minimal living” or “sustainable living,” we can find many, many tips on how to reduce waste, protect the planet, and also save precious time and money.

While many of us may not be able to completely “ban the can” like Shad did, we can certainly reduce the amount of trash we generate. So, what’s the first step to take? Most experts say the first step is to take a “trash audit.” That is, carefully look through our garbage, and observe what we are throwing out. Then ask ourselves, “What are my biggest waste items? How can I reduce these over the next month?” The next step is to make a habit of choosing reusable items over disposable ones. By carrying cloth grocery bags, re-usable utensils, chopsticks, straws, and even a cloth napkin in our bag or car, we avoid such “single-use” waste. To significantly reduce our environmental footprint, we could even join a sustainable community, where resources are shared. And, as we can see from one such village in Los Angeles, USA, called Eco-Village Sustainable Community, we don’t even need to leave the city to do it.

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