How This Blog Has Changed Me

This month marks the first anniversary of this blog, The Earth Is Not a Trash Can. Previously blog attempts ended much sooner in failure. I became bored, or no one was reading my comments (probably because I was bored).

This blog has had almost 13,000 hits in its eleven months and few days. In the blogosphere, this is minimal. For me, it’s awesome (sorry George Bush, I overuse this adjective, too). Folks from all over the world have read the blog. To quote my husband, whose idea the blog was, “the internet creates a true democracy where everyone can openly have an exchange of ideas.”

Here are ways the blog has changed my life and behavior:

  • I became moderately active for the first time in the local mayoral and councilman races last summer when I discovered that the property where lots of trash is dumped in my area belonged to one of the council candidate’s father-in-law. While I didn’t influence the outcome of the race, I definitely drew attention to the dump sites.
  • The government of Metro Nashville posted two No Littering signs near the dump sites, which has deterred additional trash there.
  • As a result of this blog, the winner in the council race, Bo Mitchell, asked me to be the area commissioner on the Metro Beautification Environmental Commission. Our area hadn’t had a commissioner in years, and I am honored to serve my council district in this capacity.
  • I organized two (very small) trash pick ups for the Great American Clean Up in May 2008 as a result of my involvement on the MBEC. Next year, I hope to organize more trash pick ups during the Great American Clean Up.
  • We have started a compost pile for our food scraps, lint (we have a lot), dog hair, grass clippings, etc. It’s not “cooking” yet, but it’s full of healthy earthworms.
  • I’ve eliminated paper towels and paper napkins. We use cloth towels because it’s less destructive to the environment.
  • I gave up drinking bottled water regularly. I try to take my Sigg water bottle with me (although it leaked and destroyed my Canon digital camera).
  • I take my own dinnerware and flatware to the office for my lunch. Most days I bring lunch from home and rarely buy a take out salad or sandwich.
  • I bought a car that gets 40 miles to the gallon, and I ride the bus during the summer months as often as possible.
  • We have purchased a weekly basket from a CSA (community supported agriculture) this summer. We receive locally grown organic produce from late April until November. On Wednesdays, I drive about a mile from my office to pick up the produce, which is so fresh. I’ve eaten more organic greens in the last six weeks than I have my entire life.

I know I’ve influenced others to slowly change their behaviors, and I have realized that I can change and do more to protect the environment. I’m not always perfect, as those plastic bags still amazingly accumulate, but I have made a difference.

Let us know how you’ve changed in the past year to help the environment. While I’ll continue to show the amount and variety of litter that I find, I’ll continue to pick up roadside trash until people learn not to litter.

Thanks for reading this year.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    April said,

    Happy Anniversary!
    I just discovered your blog and think it’s wonderful.
    This is what my husband and I do to help the environment and keep our garbage to a minimum:
    – Drive a fuel efficient car
    – Compost
    – Collect rain water for our garden
    – Hang the laundry outside to dry in the summer
    – Avoid using insecticides and herbicides
    – Use cloth bags for our groceries
    All the best,

  2. 2

    Neal Conner said,

    “The earth is not a trash can”, I love the slogan. I stumbled across your site while looking for images of “no littering” signs with trash around them. We don’t think the signs do enough around our public access areas, so we are trying to start a ripple effect of a new idea. Visit our site and read about it. I would love to use your slogan “the earth is not a trash can”.

    Neal Conner
    HRL Paddlers
    http://hrlpaddlers.com


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