As you may or may not know, today is Earth Day. I seem to recall turning off the lights for an hour last year, or was that just me? (trying to read stories to my son with a wind up torch, lol). We haven't done anything special this year, but the fact of it being Earth Day reminded me of a visit we took recently to a local amenity site.
We were taking some garden waste for green recycling and some other bits and pieces, and for the first time ever we saw them moving some of the general waste rubbish (that's the stuff which is picked up on bin day and would normally go to landfill , but here in Berkshire we are lucky (not sure if that's the right word or not) enough that it all goes to a waste to energy incinerator)
It was a truly epic site, quite apocalyptic. There were two or three enormous diggers with huge scoops that were scooping up great mountains of rubbish and moving it around. The scoops were so big that one of them had a double mattress on the arm which must have flipped up, it was just casually lying there. It felt like some kind of post apocalyptic dystopia, or a scene from the film Wall-E. The amount of waste was astonishing and I just couldn't get over the fact that it was all being thrown away. There was just so much, and so much that looked like it could have been re-used. Plastic bags torn open and their contents spilling everywhere, household food waste, bits of fabric, and a hell-of-a-lot of plastic packaging.
I left with mixed feelings. I was torn between feeling like I would never throw a single thing away again EVER because I just didn't want to partake in this entropy any more; and feeling like really what was the point, what was the point in washing and sorting and recycling all our waste when the impact our family would be making was so microscopic it was almost negligible, it seemed futile and it was completely impossible to live in this day and age without producing eipc amounts of rubbish.
However I then stumbled upon a wonderful blog called Trash is for Tossers and I was like "oh, it is possible". The blog's author Lauren Singer lives a zero waste lifestyle which I find so inspiring and beautiful. I can definitely do more to reduce the amount of waste I and my family. I don't think we would be able to go totally waste free because it seems we don't have access to the sorts of amazing food places that she has where you can take a load of glass jars and cloth bags, fill them up with food and leave with no plastic (that's never going to happen at Tesco) but I can certainly try and reduce our impact. It's a similar mindset to veganism/vegetarianism, the difference we make to the big picture is probably very small but it is still something, and I believe that our actions, however small send out positive vibrations into the world which can transform into something much bigger.
So here is to small acts, on Earth Day, maybe we can't save the world ourselves, but each person taking little actions adds up to something truly epic.