The other day I was out running errands and I was stressed out and hungry. I made a run through a local fast food place for a very late lunch. Of course, for the rest of the afternoon I felt sluggish and slightly gross because instead of opting for a healthier salad or smoothie I got something fattening and unhealthy. I told my husband later that evening that I make bad decisions when I’m hungry. That statement got me thinking about what other bad decisions we make just because the RIGHT decision is just a little bit too hard to make. Whether those decisions are about the food we eat or our choices regarding green living it isn’t always EASY to make the better choice.
Think About This Thursday #TATT
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Think about this: According to Time Magazine the average human being makes thousands of decisions every single day. How many times have you thrown out something that COULD be recycled because you didn’t want to take the time to rinse it out or find a recycle bin? How many things do you buy every week that you really don’t need? How many times have you gone to the grocery store and forgot your reusable bags? I am guilty of doing these things occasionally myself!
Our society makes it much too easy for humanity to make bad choices. We put vending machines in schools so kids can load up on artificially flavored snacks in disposable containers. Reusable water bottles and snacks from home just take too much time and energy to prepare. Grocery stores give us plastic bags free of charge so there are no repercussions for forgetting our reusable bags at home. There is very little oversight regarding what we throw in our trash cans so if we don’t feel like recycling or composting we don’t have to. I am torn between wanting to protect society from overbearing rules made by ‘big brother’ and realizing that if left to it’s own devices humanity may destroy itself and the planet we live on.
There are certain causes that I am passionate about that I truly feel would be beneficial in terms of creating a greener and healthier society. These are areas where I don’t think we should be ALLOWED to make bad decisions! If any of these are causes you support there are links and resources below to help you learn more.
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1. Mandatory recycling: When we visited Germany many years ago we had to separate out compostable items from recyclable ones and only the real ‘trash’ got thrown away. Many places in the United States don’t even OFFER recycling, much less make it mandatory. If you would like to get recycling started in your area check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s guide to starting a community recycling program.
2. Removing vending machines from schools: Our children are exposed to an immense amount of junk food every day in the form of vending machines. There are significantly more vending machines in schools than there are recycling bins. All of those cans of soda and bottles of sports drink just get tossed in the trash when kids are finished. Getting vending machines OUT of schools is a tough sell because those machines selling junk to your kids are raking in money for the school. Talk to your school administrators and your local PTA about finding new sources of funding and improving the health of the students and ditch the vending machines.
3. Banning plastic bags in the US: If you had to carry your items to your car armful by armful if you forgot your reusable bags you would remember them a lot more often. I am definitely guilty of forgetting them occasionally! Many communities are developing plastic bag bans to reduce the amount of plastic ending up in our landfills. Check out the Earth Policy Institute for more information on plastic bag bans and how you can help bring one to your community.
With thousands of decisions being made every single day we can make huge changes to our health and the health of this planet by just making a DIFFERENT choice. If only it were easy to make the better choice!
Have you made a decision recently that made you a greener and healthier person?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.