I’m sure we all agree that our environment is facing numerous threats – climate change, global warming, pollution – all the usual words. We talk, we write, we march, we plant trees, every year on earth days and environmental days. But the June – fifths keeps on coming and nothing seems to have really changed. Yes, we are more aware of the problems but are we trying to solve them? Do we practice what we preach? Meet Lauren Singer a 26-year old New Yorker who stores all the trash that she has produced in the last 5 years in a single mason jar.
Singer, who was an Environmental Studies student at the NY University noticed how one of her classmates kept bringing lunch in plastic packages and dumped this day after day in the trash. While she felt this was hypocritical she soon realized that she herself was leading a life, contradictory to her values.
Her research to reduce the waste she produced led her to Bea Johnson, who along with her family lived a zero waste life. Inspired, Lauren sought to do the same in her life. She started with small and easy changes like taking reusable cups with her to buy coffee instead of taking coffee in disposable cups. She started making her own products like toothpaste, lotion, deodorants etc. to avoid the plastic packages.
Instead of buying packaged food products she started buying in bulk and used seasonal fruits and vegetables. She also started using second-hand clothes and recyclable products and used composting for organic wastes. The final result – the production of minimal waste that could be stored in a mason jar.
While it may all seem a little extreme Lauren is content with her lifestyle and enjoys it. She points out many advantages – she saves money, eats healthy, uses natural products on her skin and finally, prevents trash from going into landfills and most importantly, contributing significantly to protecting the environment. What‘s more, rather than preaching she is inspiring people with her life. She runs a blog called “Trash is for Tossers” offering advice and solutions to lead a more sustainable life and owns a company called Simply Co. that sells her homemade products.
So let’s start with small changes. We’ve done more than enough damage with our ” use and throw” culture. Using paper bags, reducing the use of disposable bottles and cups, avoiding packaged food are some of the things we can all adopt in our lives. It might seem like a small step but when seven billion people take small steps together it becomes one huge step. As Gandhiji once said and as Lauren Singer has shown us – let our life be our message.
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