Food wastes have life after you

Don’t get too riled up yet. This isn’t another attempt of an alarmed environmentalist to tell you how to think. More simply, I will raise a question to you: Where does your waste go?

We all know that over the past few years, environmental engineers and climate scientists have examined the status quo and concluded that we are all doomed. That is, unless you start to “Think green!” But I propose to you, instead of me telling you what to think, to think for yourself. Thinking green can mean a lot of things. I like to think of it as hesitating before throwing out that old cell phone if it still works or finishing the food on your plate simply not to waste it. Thinking green is another way to contribute to the public good, and people can do it easily!

One of the most interesting green topics for me is the distribution of food. Not only does the food that ends up on Americans’ dinner tables get packaged and delivered for the luxury of modern society, but the wasted food gets shipped away never to be accounted for again by the consumer. The problem really embodies the ill-fated American mindset. Although food is a necessity of life, its waste is not. In fact, instead of paying for large trucks to haul the waste off to a landfill, people can produce rich soil from placing all of their food waste and yard scraps in a pile in their backyards.

This process, called composting, can be particularly beneficial when implemented on a large scale. It is estimated that around 40 percent of all municipal waste is organic and thus can be composted. Not only would be rich soil be gained from composting, but also many trips for the large trucks that have to haul the waste away would be saved. Accordingly, less carbon dioxide would be released into the atmosphere as a result of operating those trucks.

However, as you look at this issue, it undoubtedly represents a facet of green practices that can be easily implemented in one’s daily life. I am not going to tell you to think green; I am sure you’ve already been told by someone at least once and were slightly pissed off by their arrogance. But think about it; it is quite interesting: All of the wasted food from your dinner plate doesn’t just get placed in the trash bin in the corner of the room and then vanish, It has an entire second half to its life that isn’t always apparent. Instead of telling you how to think, I suggest that you evaluate if a composting operation in your own backyard would be too difficult to implement into your lifestyle.

If you already implement composting: kudos. I challenge you to think about other outgoing items in your life, and possibly determine a way to reuse these items. Modern society has grown into a very materialistic world, compared to how individuals lived in the past. Thinking green saves materials in the present, to contribute to the future.

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