As 2019 comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on the first year of this blog and what I learned throughout the year. When I started this venture, I thought that if only one person made one change, it would be a success. Much to my surprise, many of you have shared stories of many changes you have made, including:
Someone who started composting for the first time and was amazed at how much he was able to divert from the landfill
Embracing shampoo bars, replacing all of those plastic shampoo bottles; one person with a scalp issue even found that it went away after switching to a shampoo bar
Bringing your own containers to restaurants to take home leftovers
Saving your snack bags to bring to Subaru – this was by far one of the more popular blogs
While I failed in the past at enacting environmental policy changes through my local government, I learned I could still have an impact by sharing tips through a blog. And as a social media neophyte, I underestimated the power social media can have in spreading a message. It really was worth joining social media after all this time!
In our house, we were able to keep our trash to an all-time low, by only having four bags of trash in 2019. What I found more interesting, however, was that we only took out our recycling to the curb two times in 2019. Two factors were the main contributors:
Our community, like many others, no longer recycles glass and many forms of plastic
I stopped putting out any boxes for recycling, opting instead to shred and compost them all
Recycling glass did take more effort than just putting it in my recycling can like we used to be able to do, but saving it in a container in my garage to be taken to a local recycling facility or pop-up events that occur throughout the year was not too onerous.
The craziest thing I probably did in 2019 was save and take the plastics no one seems to want anymore, like clam shell containers, to a drop-off location in Centre County, PA. I make a trip that way at least once a year anyway, so I figured it was not too much effort to store these plastics until it was time for my next trip.
Thank you for being readers of the blog, and more importantly, for embracing change. I have been inspired by your stories.
Looking ahead to next year, I am excited to share more tips for reducing waste. You have given me renewed hope about our ability to have a positive impact on the environment.