America, we're a free country. We believe in equality and an easy life, or that's what we dream of at least. We are a country full of busy people with things to do it's no surprise tgat we rank up there in the worlds worst wasters. On average we waste roughly 4.4lbs (1.996 kg) of waste per individual per day. That becomes roughly 1,606 lbs per year, now times that by 326,474,013. Now you see how it's a problem? America alone produces more waste in pounds than there are people on this planet, insane. One of our biggest waste is food, one the most important factors of life. How on earth can we create so much waste? Well it's simple. Modern technology and the way we live.
You're driving down the highway to visit granny and you feel your stomach growling. You haven't eaten anything since five this morning and it's a quarter past 12. So you watch the road signs to see when the next exit it, as you pass it a huge smile crosses your face. (Insert Fast Food of Choice) is painted beautifully upon the sign as a place to eat at the next exit. Cheap, quick, and the best fries ever. You think to yourself, why not? You have another hour before you get to granny's, so you pull up and make your order. Here's what you didn't know. Every 5 minutes they dump out the fries, yes it guarantees that it is freshly cooked but they can end up dumping pounds of them out a day.
They throw away chicken nuggets if they are stuck together, which happens quiet often. They keep huge trash bins for their "waste food" that they have to clean often because they get filled quickly. They constantly throw away food that wasn't used within a five minute span. Now maybe that doesn't seem to bad to you, but consider how many fast food places are in your area, now in your state.....let's make it even better, the country. Now that accumulates to a lot of waste. All because we don't have "time" anymore to prepare our own meal and our need for perfection (a whole other topic).
Well you enjoyed your quick and delicious large fry and are back on the road again. You absent mindedly just toss your trash out the window, it will decompose. Right? Well most of the trash on roadsides, specifically highways, is fast food litter. You can drive anywhere in the US and will find aluminium cans or soda cups on the road side, as of date there is roughly 52 billion peices of trash on US roads, that's 6,700 items per mile. To make matters worse most litter (53% of it) on roads are from drivers, the rest are from cyclist and walkers who simply could not wait until they got home or near a park to throw it away. Most of the things we litter the ground with is actually recyclable, yet a lot of Americans even admit that they don't recycle. Yet most states cannot afford to help all of its counties to attain recycling plants, so for some people it's almost impossible to recycle.
Well you finally make it to granny's house, when an awful stench assaults your nose. You don't want to blame your granny for smelling bad but you did not notice until you made it to her house. But you keep quiet and grab a glass from the cupboard. As you're about to fill your glass with water your granny yells for you to stop. She informs you that she lives 2 miles from the landfill and some of the waste run off has entered her well. Well isn't that great, at least you know the bad smell wasn't granny's fault, well for the most part. Landfills are a poor way to take care if waste.
They are basically a hole dug in the ground lined with a special material, which is supposed to prevent leakage of harmful chemicals into the soil and underground rivers, that we fill up with waste and cover with dirt hoping that we can take care of it in the future. Most trash in landfills never decompose because they do not get oxygen and other elements that aid in the decomposing of most materials. So basically we just preserve our waste and just keep making more. We are trying hard to create more earth friendly materials but it is hard to commit to eco-friendly when we are just so busy.
How are we ever going to solve our wasteful wasting habits? Do we push for eco-friendly laws and regulations that make recycling mandatory? How will me make recycling an available option for everyone? Do we slow down our busy lives and try to eat at home to try to reduce the amount of fast food waste? Are we going to push for a more logical way of tending the trash? Well you don't have to worry about that as you leave granny's, do you? It isn't your problem, just the next generations. At least, for your sake, granny doesn't live by the ocean. That is a whole other fish to fry, especially when it comes down to waste. In conclusion, let's not waste the earth's time....let us try to be a little less wasteful.