Conscious Consumerism

Decompose My Garbage Heart

environment, garbage, ecoNick OgdenComment

As I thought about this weeks blog post I couldn't stop thinking about my future and what I means to be on this earth. We have been blessed with such a beautiful and mysterious planet, filled with all wonders of life. As humans we stumbled upon this evolutionary path that has led us to this point and has given us the power to sculpt the earth. So far, we have done a pretty terrible job. I do however, think that there is still time and many people left that want to correct our mistakes realigning our societies back to more natural orders. We have built our society's on a "take" mentality where naturally a "give" should be, depleting a cyclical system. This week I want to focus in on why it is so important to realign ourselves back with a more natural rhythm of a give mentality.

I have always considered myself an optimist, with climate change and human degradation of ecosystems I still have this view. As humans, we have used our power to build great buildings and fantastic civilizations but at the expense of our natural world. It is now time that we must flip the coin and give back to our planet. One main way we can do this is through figuring out our garbage problems. Here in North America we a very one-use policy when it comes to most of the items we purchase. This is taking a huge tole on our ecosystems though, putting great strain on natural regulatory cycles that we depend on to make many of our one-use things. Lets face reality here and take a look at how long it takes for some of our garbage to decompose into the ecosystems that they are dumped in. 

Buss Transfer: 2 weeks 

Cardboard: 2 months 

Cotton Garments: 3 months 

Plywood: 1-3 years 

Painted Wood: 13 years 

Cigarette Butts: 10-12 years 

Leather Shoes: 25-40 years 

Nylon Fabrics: 30-40 years 

Tin Cans: 50 years 

Rubber Soles: 50-80 years 

Batteries: 100 years 

Aluminium Cans: 200-500 years 

Plastic Fishing Line: 600 years 

Tinfoil: Never 

Styrofoam: Never 

Depending on what your garbage habits are, any trace of the goods you consumed can last on earth from 2 weeks to eternity. We must take the time to understand what we are throwing away and where it goes. If we simply throw away our aluminium cans we are waisting precious resources and forcing ourselves to find new ones. Through the simple act of sorting your garbage you can make a real difference. If we recycle metals, glass, and cardboards more often then not they will be turned into new items helping us to transition to a cyclical society. By unnecessary waste we are contributing to the destruction of our habitable planet.

A cyclical society is one that consumes goods, disposes them accordingly with the availability to up-cycle, re-cycle, or reuse. This kind of society would produce virtually no waste or produce waste that can be used again and again. Let us make shifts in our personal lives to live more cyclically Through our buying habits we can influence producers to be more cyclically conscious and we can impact our planet less. Cyclical consuming and living is not hard. It simply takes a solid look on our consumption patterns and changing a few things. Think cyclically or a more give mentality. Give yourself the chance to be less impactful on our planet, and give back to ecosystems by not adding to their degradation through garbage pollution. By understanding the time it takes for our garbage to decompose we can get a simple quantitative measurement of our ecological impact. Think about what you are throwing away and ask yourself, "Can this be reused, recycled, or up-cycled?" If we shift our thinking a bit we can have a real positive impact on our planet. 

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