Yesterday, I picked up trash from the banks of the Milwaukee River with the Milwaukee Riverkeepers. As I filled a big trash bag with tiny Swisher Sweets (which are evidently cigarillos, unlike what I originally thought they were) wrappers, or McDonald's ketchup, or Taco Bell barbecue sauce packets, that were (I would like to think) disposed off in one of the trash cans on Capitol Dr but blew over in the Wisconsin wind gusts to pollute the river, I couldn't help wondering how our easy lifestyles have come at the cost of the planet. I will not rail against fast foods in this blog, not yet. Instead, I want to set an intention in this blog, something that I would like to do going forward.
Four years ago, I became intensely aware of the amount of food I was tossing in the trash and how much it made my trashcan stink. Just that awareness made me start on a journey, where now, not only do I compost all my food scraps but also try to not to create that much waste in the first place. Sure it was difficult at first to change my habits and there were a lot of times I failed. But eventually, I got it right. Of course, I still drive a lot, forget my traveling coffee mug at home, fly for work (quite a bit) and stop by at Taco Bell drive-through when it seems like it is either that or faint at the wheel. However, to become better at this effort, I have made friends with people who are ahead of me in reducing their carbon footprint and am constantly inspired by them to move forward in the sustainable living spectrum. On the other hand, I try to (and hope to) inspire those you are behind me. Sometimes, I even succeed.
I am of the opinion that every problem has a solution and once we deconstruct the problem and achieve small solutions to its parts, the bigger one gets resolved on its own. In this case, the sum is larger than the whole.
So we begin this journey, to deconstruct the problem, not just food waste, but waste in general and what we as average Joes/Janes can do to change one behavior at a time, how to make it stick and finally, what could be the outcome of such a change. I welcome you to contribute and become part of this community.
So on Earth Day, fueled by the guilt of seeing the trash on the Milwaukee river, and also the effort required to clean it up, I start this blog to publicly admit my failures (and successes) to live more sustainably. In this process, I hope to engage in a constructive dialogue about the different challenges that are in the path of an average person aiming to live more sustainably and how we can overcome it.
Please join me on this journey! Like and subscribe to the blog. Invite your friends to do it. I will update this biweekly!