You know, one of my biggest pet peeves are that so many people in this world walk around everyday thinking to themselves “I’m just one person, how can I make a difference?”.

If you’re one of them, I have some news for you: You CAN make a difference. Sure, it sounds like yet another claim that get’s tossed around but read on before you lock-down that ignorance force-field around you.

Ever think about what it means to recycle a pop can? Quite a simple concept really, you take a used pop can and return it at the local bottle depot or maybe even put it in that blue box of yours. Now let’s think a little further into the future a bit and look at a couple scenarios. Say for instance you drink on average 1 pop every two days and have been drinking pop for the last 10 years. I won’t make you pop out that calculator as I have already done this — you would have used 1780 or so pop cans. Not sure if you have ever seen how big a pile of 1780 pop cans is but I assure you it would be a big one.

Ok, so maybe you don’t drink pop… how about eggs? I’m thinking if you don’t like pop you may just have a few eggs a week, maybe more if you’re like me. Now, the reason I bring up this example is simply because each time I go into Safeway I cringe when I see all those eggs packaged in all that styrofoam. Ok, so let’s say on average you eat 4 eggs a week and anticipate you’ll be on that trend for about 30-40 years of your life, maybe more. Same simple math brings a result of about 700 egg cartons!

Avoiding the fact that you just might not eat eggs and drink pop, I’m sure if you stop to think about it there is some basic staple that you use daily that does in fact amount to quite a staggering number. Now think what you can do about your consumption and what you could do to reduce your waste from that consumption. I for one find myself acting as ‘recycle police’ at times and when I buy eggs, I now dish out the extra loonie or so to buy in the recycleable cardboard cartons — hey, I even get a better product to boot!

One last example is my paper phone bills that I have — after a rather annoying back’n'forth with customer service — suppressed and opted for electronic delivery instead. When I recall how many pages of 8.5″x11″ I would receive each month, largely full of useless data, I calculated it that I would get just shy of 100 pages a year. How many of us have a cell phone, land line, cable bill, and on and on… Same simple math and you get a massive amount of consumption when much of it could be avoided or at least minimized.

Take the one-tonne challenge and do your part!

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