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TRASH TALK: Healing Ourselves By Helping Our Planet

“We don’t need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly.” -Ann Marie Bonneau

COVID-19 Trash Effects on the Planet

A few months into the COVID-19 outbreak, the media began sharing some inspiring stories of how much cleaner air was in some cities that hadn’t experienced these levels in decades. Pictures showed the smog that normally drifts over Los Angeles was a little less thick. More visibility of the city skyline was seen. CO2 levels were also dropping with the sudden halt of most air and ground transportation. This is one of the effects our current pandemic is having on our planet.

Although we may be looking up into the cleaner air, we need to pay attention to the ground and the new trash that is piling up. Single-use gloves and masks are starting to litter the streets of cities around the world and also the parking lot of your local grocery store. While it is understandable that these are items in high usage right now, we need to make it our responsibility to keep our Earth clean. 

Trash Build-up and Better Choices

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American creates 5.91 pounds of trash each day. If every person in Arizona creates this much trash per day, that would mean we produce over 43 million pounds of trash in one single day in our state…that’s a lot of waste!

Fortunately, we can make individual choices that can reduce that number for ourselves and keep our trash off and out of the ground. In the world we live in today, living a zero-waste lifestyle is nearly impossible and takes some serious devotion. However, you don’t need to give up everything to make a difference. It is important that we become more responsible for reducing the amount of trash we create. Similarily, when we have to dispose of it, that we do it in the proper ways. 


Do we really need to get coffee every morning in a single-use cup, or, can we make it from home? 


The availability of reusable and washable cotton masks is increasing. These are great options for glass food storage, stainless steel straws, reusable cups, etc. If reducing and reusing is not achievable, then consider recycled materials and recycle everything you can.  As a matter of fact, a simple Google search can quickly identify those specific items.  Just type “’City Name’ accepted recyclables.” 


Reducing your kitchen waste at home can be done by starting a compost pile. There are many affordable ways to do this. 

Changes Make a Difference

Making one small change a month to reduce the amount of waste we create can make a tremendous difference in the long run!

Valley Schools is committed to helping our members make healthy, sustainable lifestyle choices for their personal wellbeing and the wellbeing of our precious planet. Contact us today to learn more about our WellStyles™ program.

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