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With so much in the news about the negative impact humans have had on the planet, people are becoming more conscious of how their day-to-day decisions create an environmental footprint. Most people want to be better about handling their trash, but since there are so many common misconceptions about waste circulating in our information feeds, it can be difficult to know where to start. To help cut through the confusion, here is a brief list of common misconceptions about waste and what you can do to circumvent their influence.
Landfills Are a Good Solution for Waste Management
Our current method for disposing most of our waste, landfills are favored by folks who like to “leave well-enough alone.” But the unfortunate truth is that landfills are far from well-enough.
Landfills pollute the ground, water, and soil. It also requires a lot of transportation to bring trash to dumps, adding to air pollution. If you want to improve your environmental footprint, recycling as often as possible is an excellent first step.
Only Big Institutions Can Handle Sustainability Programs
Small businesses and workplaces often tell themselves that they do not have the manpower, money, or time to take on a meaningful sustainability program, so they never even try. But smaller institutions should not be so defeatist.
Sustainability programs should match the size of its organization. Sure, major corporations might need hundreds of people devoted to waste management to make a difference. But for mom-and-pop stores, sometimes all it takes is a compost bin, some introductory training in hazardous waste identification, reusable resources, and a commitment to recycling.
Sustainable Solutions Mean Unavoidable Increases in Waste Removal Prices
Unfortunately, this common misconception about waste was created by bad actors in the waste management industry. When a person or business signs up for a more environmentally responsible waste management plan, companies will often take advantage of their customer’s inexperience by attaching hidden fees to the process.
There are transparent companies that will get you the most for your dollar. It is a shame that businesses and individuals must seek out these more trustworthy partners, but they are well worth the search.
One Person Cannot Make a Difference
Perhaps the most pervasive and damaging myth in waste management, the adage “one person cannot make a difference” has caused unspeakable harm to the planet. It simply is not true. Every time a person recycles, uses compost, or drinks from a reusable glass bottle instead of a plastic one, they are making a difference. For perspective, recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to power a TV for three hours. Now imagine how you could change the world if you never threw another can in the trash again.