Bringing Back The Past To Save The Future

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In the past, there was no such thing as disposable plastic grocery bags… single-use utensils… or 24/7 fast food joints. Our instant gratification-based society has quickly filled our planet with trash and pollution that is going to be very difficult to clean up, never mind even live with while we try to do so. As my post the other day showed, the pollution problem around the world affects so many and it is only going to get worse unless we take drastic action to clean up after ourselves. But where do we all start? Is changing out our incandescent light bulbs for CFL ones going to save us? Not likely. Sure, it will help — but it’s not nearly enough action to help turn back the clock on the planetary destruction we have brought upon ourselves over the last 40-50 years. The “light green” actions like changing light bulbs do add up, and we do have to do them, but we also need to basically go back to the past to help save our future, and that’s a huge step that not too many people are willing to take. If we don’t start now, however, things are going to get much worse before too long. Here are some examples of how bringing back the past can help save our future here on earth…

Kill off our disposable society. Whether it be our furniture, clothing, cars, or houses, we must stop consuming disposable goods and go back to well-crafted products. We can make this change by shopping consciously for goods. Stores like IKEA make it too easy for people to redecorate their entire house every few years, which leads to tons of furniture being thrown away too often. And houses, once built to last several lifetimes, are now thrown together with the cheapest materials possible, and homeowners are lucky if their house stays together until the mortgage is paid off. This has to end.

Stop wasting food. Too often we go to the grocery store, fill up our carts with new food, and then let a high-percentage of it go bad in the back of our fridge. Food was a valued resource not too long ago; now it’s so accessible and inexpensive that we waste a ton of it without even thinking. Buy what you need – no more, no less, and stop wasting such a resource-intensive product.

Reuse everything. From spaghetti sauce jars to paper to old clothes, try to find an extra use for anything you are about to throw away.

Keep electronics for longer. Without a doubt we are going to continue to buy new cell phones, TVs, and computers. It’s a fact of modern life that these things need replacing. But do we need to buy new ones every 6 months? Not at all. While my three year old iPhone may not be as shiny and cool as the new one, it does just about everything equally as well and still works great.

Stop it with the pesticides. Pesticides have led to the wholesale pollution of most of our streams, rivers, ponds, lakes and even coastal areas, as these synthetic chemicals run-off into the nearby waterways. While you may not be able to control what big farming operations do, you can control what you do in your own yard.

Buy organic foods. Organic, while a cool new catch phrase, is just another way of saying old-fashioned. Everything used to be organic before pesticides, chemicals, and GMOs became common-place. By purchasing organic foods, you are sending a message to stores and manufacturers that you are willing to pay for healthier foods for you and your family, and in turn they may begin to offer even more organic choices.

Fix, don’t toss. Whether it is clothing, tools, or household appliances, try to fix any problems before just tossing it away and buying new. Keep in mind that there is no “away”, even when it seems like there is because you don’t see it. Everything was repaired in the old days, and we need to start doing that again.

No one wants to go back to the past to live without electricity, running water, or some modern conveniences, and it is doubtful that anyone is going to ask you to. But if we don’t start making changes to our lifestyle today, we are going to be in big trouble in the very near future. With a recent study proclaiming that the earth could be unrecognizable by 2050 (just 39 years from now!) as our population explodes and competition for resources heats up, we need to start adapting/making change now before it’s too late.

Are you willing to do your part to ensure the health and safety of future generations on earth?

Photo by Montgomery Cty Division of Solid Waste Services

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