Earth day. Every day.
Earth Day has come and gone. And, although we should be celebrating and respecting our land all year round, we could always use this special day as an extra push to maintain this beautiful home of ours that we call Planet Earth.
Sadly, when we look around, we often see trash everywhere — in both urban and rural areas. But, what exactly is trash?
Is it a piece of paper you don’t want anymore? Is it an old bucket that you bought for a one-time use and then let sit in the corner (that now takes up space)? Or, is it perhaps, a cool decoration that you bought out of compulsion and now no longer like or need? Buyers’ remorse is real…
“Our perception of waste affects our planet, our pocketbook, and our very ability to build healthy relationships with each other — which in turn perpetuates our need to buy things to fill this void. When we find ways to combat this — not only for the sake of our society, but for our very selves — we can grow and build a better world.” (Trash to Treasure, pg. 35)
If you could repurpose that piece of paper or find a different use for that old bucket or decoration, would you do it? It seems so simple, but we often do not repurpose things because we simply don’t think about them. Many of us have not been taught to do this.
Besides the Global Pandemic that has thrown all of us for a loop, the later generations have never really had to struggle just to survive the day.
We’ve never lived on rations like during the Great Depression or wars. We’ve never had to save a “coffee can” to store our leftovers. We’ve simply just bought more Tupperware — or thrown the leftovers away… But, we can change that!
Part of honoring the beloved generations that have gone before us is to recognize the hardships they faced and to try to learn from them. People who are now in their golden years can teach us a lot about how to repurpose things.
When we “become more aware of what we see as trash, we begin to realize that much of it — from plastic to textiles to food scraps — can be given a second life. It may be easy to tell ourselves that we live in a world of abundant resources and don’t need to worry about the one plastic thing we throw away.”
But, if every person throws “just a little bit of trash away,” that multiplies into a monster pile.
So, in honor of “Mother Earth,” I challenge us to connect with the older generations — grandparents, aunts, uncles, bosses, people from your local organizations… Ask them how they repurpose things and put those ideas into practice. Remember, we are all interconnected, and this can be a great way to embrace each other.
By learning to repurpose things, we can reduce trash — and every little bit really does help. So, Happy Earth Day! Let’s continue to find ways to keep our home beautiful.
Who is Kelsey?
Kelsey Rumburg is a creator and a builder dedicated to inspiring social and environmental change through her words and actions. Check out her book, Trash to Treasure, for more information. Follow @trashtotreasuremindset on Instagram and @trashtocashbook on Twitter to stay up to date on all things #trashy!