Happy Earth Day

April 22, 2020

Happy Earth Day

So as you all know my hubby and I started a YouTube channel @JustinandJuby.  Its been a wild ride and allowed us to document our journey through this life that we are living.  Not only that but has encouraged us to challenge ourselves and expose the honest truths that we experience in our lives.  So with that being said, for an entire week we decided to collect our rubbish, recycle and food waste to see what the damage to our world was, what our footprint is when it comes to waste and to see how we can do better.  We didn't try to make any less waste then we normally do as we wanted to see the full impact of what we create on an "average week".

This is what I learnt.

TWO QUICK FACTS ON WASTE/RECYCLE:

In a lifetime the average American will throw away 600 times the amount of his or her adult weight in garbage. For example, a 150 pound adult will leave a trash legacy of 90,000 pounds. 

Recycling requires a lot of energy, which in turn causes pollution & waste in other ways.

Groceries.

Its wild realizing the lack of options we have when it comes to simple things like buying fruits and vegetables.  Not only do they come with stickers, ties, labels but they come with all that “packaging” on top of it. We are by no means perfect, and also wish we could eat organic, but simply put ~ we can't afford to have a food budget that blows our “rent/gas” budget out of the water.  So that means, sadly that we buy cheaper apples, that come in plastic bags. Now don't get me wrong, we do our part when it comes to shopping for the produce at the store and we use our reusable produce bags, but the amount of plastic that we blow through when we are putting everything away at home is astounding.  Not only that, but the average supermarket doesn't stock bulk goods.  So that means that we are buying cereals in plastic bags in cardboard boxes, grains in plastic bags, coffee in bags, nuts in bags, everything in god damn bags!  Is the trick to shop at multiple supermarkets and take an entire day running errands?!

And on top of that...box wine is cheap and lasts forever, or at least sometimes it seems like it, BUT its in a plastic bag.  So we've been trying to move away from the “convenience” of a box of wine, simply put its not a good choice.

 Room for improvement points when @ the super market:

    Buy Bulk MORE

    Buy glass/metal oil jars

    Buy single fruits/vegetables without plastic packaging

    Buy glass bottles of wine

    Recycle. 

    We all think that we are doing good when we recycle.  Truth be told, its not as great as we thought. When we volunteered to clean up the aftermath of our small local festival Shakori Hills we were mind blown by the things people threw away without a care in the world.  Soooooo much plastic, so much junk and messy sh*t. Anyhow, it taught us a lot about the process of recycling. Cleaning your cans & bottles is important ~ contamination of the load you are recycling occurs when there is more than 1% food waste left on your can or your bottle or your jar.  So realistically we should all be scrubbing down our containers before recycling. On top of that, who knew that pizza boxes are considered rubbish, because the oils from the pizza are in the cardboard making it contaminated.

    Trash. There is so much we haven't been told or taught about how to recycle properly, so here's a few tips…

    • Flatten cardboard boxes so you can have more space in your bin
    • Rinse & recycle all plastic bottles...water bottles to salad dressings
    • Paper goods to recycle or burn - newspaper, wrapping paper, envelopes, birthday cards, clothing tags, paper bags, paper towel tubes, toilet paper, cookie boxes….The list could go on, but you get the gist, set anything paper in your recycle bin
    • Non-recyclable paper includes tissue, waxed and carbon paper = trash
    • Burn your cardboard/paper goods or use them in the base of your garden beds by throwing them into your compost bin
    • Glass can be recycled endlessly ~ so Recycle them...but avoid breaking them as mixing the broken colours together can make them unacceptable for recycling.

    And lastly, here's some food for thought in an Article that discusses 'What it Truly Means to Recycle', & what we thought we knew…

    Take Out.

    With this global pandemic we haven't been sitting anywhere out and about to eat, but we definitely have grabbed a couple of things to go to take to a trail or sit in the garden.  With everything in single serve wraps its hard to evade the inevitable truth of producing waste when grabbing a sandwich, a pizza, a salad, a Chipotle bowl.  The least we can do at this time is have our own cutlery at the ready. I have found myself consistently wishing I had a to go set always in my bag or car ready for that food moment when we are on an outdoor adventure.  How exciting that we are now able to keep these with us for on the go and not have the added waste of cutlery on top of food packaging. Its definitely a reality check when you see how much you produce.

    Room for improvement points when @ grab & go foods:

    1. Bring your own tupperware
    2. Bring your own cutlery
    3. Bring your own to go cup/straw
    4. Say no to a plastic straw at a restaurant...Use Your Own reusable straw!

    Diapers.

    Azalea poops.  Lets just put it out there.  If you have a baby then you know what I mean.  They poop. A lot! From the beginning I knew I wanted to get the fabric reusable diapers, but with the lifestyle that we live, having a soiled diaper hang around the bus for a couple of weeks before getting it over to the laundromat didn't sound enticing to me.  Nor did hand washing and using up all the water we have in our tanks. So It was so amazing to come across this alternative company that was eco-friendly. Dyper was the answer. Their diapers are made with viscose fibers from, responsibly sourced bamboo & packed in clear bags made with biodegradable materials.  They can be composted at home or composted in commercial facilities. With each delivery, they purchase carbon offsets to help reforestation efforts. So, you’re not just taking a stand against carbon—you’re joining a special community dedicated to a cooler planet and healthier lives for people around the world. Now that's something I can stand behind whilst wiping the poop away!

    Room for improvement points when it comes to diapers:

    1. In the future give reusable diapers a go
    2. For now, be frugal with the diapers

    Give Back ~ Composting Food Waste.

    With all this time being at home we have been gardening galore, and its been a blast!  I never really used to be into it and was always frustrated when my Mama had me do the gardening, but there's some sort of switch that goes off as you get older, where things change and you begin to enjoy things you never thought you would.  Having plants around no doubt helps with the air, it helps to keep our planet green. It helps our environment in so many ways, including growing your own food to reduce the footprint you produce from supermarkets with all that packaging I mentioned we go through.

    In building up our beds we have had a mountain of weeds, leaves and all kinds of botanical “waste” that we have been contributing to our composting pile.  The cycle of life is that it decomposes to create soil that we are then able to use for new plant growth = Magic! Not only have we had the garden waste going into the compost pile, but also all our food scraps. Seeing how many buckets of food scrap we throw out each week is madness!  Why not put it to good use. So for now I am grateful that we have a compost pile that we are able to contribute our waste to, so that new beds and healthy soil can be present for next years garden! To think that there are many times when we are on the road and haven't been able to throw our food waste into a compost pile breaks my heart.  If you're a road dweller, Please feel free to share your top tips with us on how to compost your food waste in a safe way so that you're not attracting animals where you shouldn't or affecting the quality of life with decomposing food waste smells etc.

    Room for improvement points when it comes to food scraps:

    1. Find solutions to composting on the road!

    It seems like this months topic, is somewhat grim...a little reality check to what our waste production is.  Hard to believe that we are not the only ones who produce this much waste and if anything produce far less than I'm sure than the majority of the world.  If you want to watch the video we made on the topic fee free to check it out.

    Lastly, we are by no means perfect, but this was a big lesson for us to see visually the amount of waste we are producing and encourage ourselves to change, be better and remember that we only have one planet.  One planet that must live on for our childrens' children. So take a moment to challenge yourselves to keep your waste for a week/a month and see how much You produce, how much You’re responsible for & what you can do to change that.


    Finally to end on a positive note...Do something good for the earth today & share it with our Facebook Community!

    Happy Earth Day 

    :)




    Leave a comment

    Join the Family and receive Poems, Inspiration, Event Info, Discount Codes & Sale Alerts