Mama’s Tellin’ It Like It Is
HERE ARE 10 FACTS TO HELP YOU SEE THAT EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED.
What’s Gotten Into Us?
Y’all, this right here really burns my biscuits! “The U.S. is the #1 trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year. This means that 5% of the world’s people generate 40% of the world’s waste.*” We’re out here acting like a bunch of garbage-lovin’ raccoons and it’s got to stop. I know you have it in you to do right by your Mama.
*University of Southern Indiana
I’m Hotter Than A Cat On A Tin Roof
Here’s the kicker, all that trash we’re producing is making me one hot Mama—and that’s not as good as it sounds! “Because landfills are so densely packed, much of the degradation that occurs is anaerobically, or without air. Anaerobic processes create a tremendous amount of methane gas, which is a major contributor to global warming.*”
You Get What You Give
When you don’t take care of Mama Earth, it comes back around. You may think to yourself, “I love summer, global warming sounds great!” But honey, trust me. You don’t want any part of it. “As temperatures climb around the globe, we expect to see more heatwaves… Extreme heat can ‘overpower the human body’ and cause dehydration, heatstroke, and major organ damage.*” And beyond temperatures changing, you can also expect an increase in the spread of disease and natural disaster occurrence.
Nothing Like Mama’s Cooking
I hate to break it to you baby, but global warming’s going to affect the quality of your food, too—“elevated levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere can actually have a “junk food effect” on typically nutritious foods. As increasing CO2 speeds up photosynthesis, plants are producing more and more carbohydrates to keep up with their sped-up growth – at the expense of the minerals, vitamins, and proteins that take longer to build (and which we need).*”
The Power of Recycling
I’m just going to come right out and say it. Are you ready? Recycling reduces energy use. “Less energy consumed means that there are less greenhouse gases emitted as well… As greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere, more and more heat becomes trapped, creating what is referred to as the ‘greenhouse effect.’ This means recycling leads to a lot less carbon dioxide for our planet!*”
Plastic, Part of an Unbalanced Diet
We’re not the only ones directly affected by the waste—especially plastic—we produce. “…plastic trash is found in the guts of more than 90% of the world’s sea birds, in the stomachs of more than half of the world’s sea turtles, and it’s even choking the life out of whales. At the rate at which plastic is accumulating in the oceans of the planet, it’s predicted that, by 2050, the mass of plastic in the world’s oceans will exceed the mass of all the fish that live there.*”
That Bottle of Water Costs More Than $1.50.
Honey, when you choose a disposable bottle over a reusable one, you’re taking a toll on a lot of Mama’s resources, so invest in a reusable water bottle. And in the meantime, if you do buy some water, recycle that bottle! “A single recycled plastic bottle saves enough energy to run a 100-watt bulb for 4 hours. It also creates 20% less air pollution and 50% less water pollution than would be created when making a new bottle.*”
Your Junk Mail is More Than A Nuisance.
The majority of the 4 million tons of junk mail that Americans receive annually ends up in landfills. So whenever possible, always opt in to fill your inbox instead of landfills by receiving correspondence electronically. And for all those other pesky, unnecessary papers that end up in your mailbox, always be sure to recycle them!
There Are Challenges To Recycling
In northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia—the heart of the Make Mama Proud movement—the landscape of recycling has changed. In many counties and cities, a lot of household materials are no longer accepted for recycling. But as one of Tennessee’s first municipalities to start curbside recycling, Johnson City is still doing what it can. If you’re not sure how your state’s recycling landscape has changed, you can learn more here.
You Effect Change
Sugar, if you live where recycling programs aren’t readily available, don’t lose hope! “Individual states and cities are responsible for [the] management of waste and can create recycling goals or landfill bans of recyclable materials.*” This means you have a voice in how your county or city regulates recycling! If you want to see a change in your town’s recycling program, tell your local elected officials. Heck, get your friends and family to tell them, too. You’ve got the power, baby, and I know you’ll Make Mama Proud.