There is no such thing as ‘away’. When we throw anything away it must go somewhere.”- Annie Leonard

That really hit me this morning.  I learned in our parental “drug awareness and prevention” training at our high school that this is a really easy way to see if your kids are doing anything wrong. Check their garbage cans. Teens (and people in general) seem to think once it goes into that garbage can it is gone. Like we are tossing our garbage into a black hole. The old “out of sight out of mind” thinking.

I was cleaning out under my kitchen sink a few years ago. And 90% of it was plastic bags. Hundreds of them. They shocked me into using reusable shopping totes. I see the eye rolls from the people behind me in line. I don’t care. I am doing my part in not contributing to landfills. They are easy to use- once unpacked I hang them on the doorknob, or when my car is in the garage I toss them onto the hood. Then I keep them in my trunk. Always ready to use. Simple. And no more under the sink clutter.

I don’t understand the throw away society we live in. We have some of my grandfathers old tools and garden machinery. We repair it and keep using it. Things were built to last. If it broke, fix it. Today everyone seems to just throw it away and get a new one. There is no “away”. Where do we think our garbage goes?  Have you driven past a landfill lately? They are massive. Everyone should make a trip to one in their lifetime. Just to see the waste.

Did you know a plastic water bottle takes 450 YEARS to decompose? Let that sink in. 450 years. Recycle them. They can be made into so many different things. It is easy to do. Or use a reusable water bottle. Again, super easy to do. I keep an infuser bottle (our Griffin) on my desk all the time. I clean it out and refill it every day. Easy.  All those coffee cups Starbucks and others hand out every day- they do not go “away”. Use reusable travel mugs.  We all have them- piled up in a cabinet somewhere. Take them out and use them. Buy a baby bottle brush to wash them out. It takes less than a minute.

Lets end the throwing away thinking. Lets try to reuse and recycle. Lets realize that “away” isn’t a place but an excuse.