I throw out soda cans, water bottles, napkins, eating utensils, takeout menus that they slide under your door, and tons and tons of packaging. Our society in modern day America puts a huge emphasis on profit and convenience of the consumer. These two needs in junction create a constantly expanding supply of materialistic products and waste that comes along with it. This ever-growing problem of waste in our society is one that we all play a role in and one that dramatically affects the sustainability of our entire planet.
A good example of this is the laundry detergent that used to be sold in a single pourable container, and is now tending towards containers of individually wrapped pods of detergent. This added material though convenient, will now add to the already growing piles of trash and landfills. As we fill our precious lands of once-lush natural resources with indecomposable waste, we also risk dramatically worsening conditions of pollution, climate change, smog, and human health. While it may seem that a dirty city is the worst effect to this waste, many of the implications will only be felt in the long term. As a result, we must work efficiently and promptly in order to reverse the already harmful damages that our wasteful society has caused.
One way to change this problem for the better is to create a sustainable model for supermarkets that make it easy to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Grocery stores should use dispensers for different foods and products. Reusable containers can be distributed and the amount purchased calculated by weight so that buying more than you need is never an issue. “Take out” from restaurants should be given out with utensils and containers that are either easily biodegradable, or reusable. This model is something that can be implemented almost anywhere. On top of this, we must continue encouraging and practicing recycling on an individual level as this is where we can save the most time and energy. Once we add convenience to the process of buying and living, excessive waste can be eliminated and we can begin to reap the benefits of sustainable living.