Anytime I have guests over, I have to anticipate them asking where my trash can is. Not that my friends are dirty people, but us humans just create a lot of waste. So then I had the brilliant idea to ramble about it online.
By not having a trash can, I end up buying less, saving more money, recycling more, and overall reducing the negative impact I have on the earth
So here’s why I don’t own a trash can.
It motivates me to create less waste.
Simply put, not having a trash can is a great reminder and motivator to not create trash in the first place, and when I do have trash, to be mindful about what and how I’m disposing it. And lets be honest, I like being lazy, so I would rather avoid creating trash in the first place so that I don’t have to deal with it later.
Trash cans are expensive.
Am I the only one who is baffled by the price of trash cans? There are trash cans out there that cost upwards of $50 or more. Like, hold up…. Am I really about to drop $50 on garbage? Literally, a container to hold my garbage… I can’t fathom that.
You have to buy more, in order to waste more.
Hear me out – after you make the initial investment into your garbage (your trash can), you then have to make more investments in trash bags, again and again… which also aren’t cheap. Americans have this mentality that this is normal and okay, so then we take these garbage bins for granted and literally throw EVERYTHING in them. We take out the trash every couple days, line the trash can with a new bag, and continue in our rubbish ways.
There are a couple problems with this: 1) We’re literally spending money to be thrown away, and quite frequently too. 2) We throw everything away, not thinking twice about our consumption and the effects that it has on the planet. See, not only are we throwing everything away (which then ends up in landfills in our cities), a lot of the things we are consuming daily and throwing away daily are harmful to the earth… We know our trash ends up in landfills, so shouldn’t we care about what we are putting into our land?
Imagine this – next time you throw something away, imagine yourself going outside and dropping it in your back yard. Now imagine that for the rest of your life. Just you, just your trash.
Apart from all the banana peels, veggies and bio-degradable products that would eventually disintegrate, you would end up with A LOT of nasty random things piling up in your back yard, and probably some sketchy smells coming out of your back yard.
Now imagine that on a global scale. We waste so much. And it’s taking a toll on the environment. I won’t ramble about that on here, though I will provide resources for you to further investigate into my claims. All I’m saying is, when we begin to accept the idea that creating trash is normal and acceptable, we accept that idea that it’s okay to destroy our planet. It might sound like an extreme case scenario, but the truth is we each create a lot of waste on a day to day basis… all of us, 8 billion citizens of planet earth, creating trash, and throwing it out in our back yard (landfills) is eventually going to catch up to us.
What Does All That Mean?
For me, not having a trash can forces me to acknowledge my impact on the earth every day. It encourages me to make better “trashy” habits. By not having a trash can, I end up buying less, saving more money, recycling more, and overall reducing the negative impact I have on the earth. I hope reading this has encouraged you to think about our waste and consumption habits. I don’t want to condemn those of you who do have trash cans, really I don’t judge you at all. I know for a lot of people, especially those with kids, running businesses, etc, having a trash can is almost a necessity – I get it. It’s a little easier for me because I live alone and can easily manage my waste.
However, I do want to encourage everyone to really go back to the scenario of “throwing your trash in your backyard” every time you throw something away, then imagine the whole world doing that, for the rest of all time. This is not a tactic to make you feel guilty, rather, to become aware of the facts.
When we begin to accept the idea that creating trash is normal and acceptable, we accept that idea that it’s okay to destroy our planet.
Thanks for reading this long winded, somewhat fiery article (haha). Let me know your honest thoughts below! And if you have good tips to reduce your trash, feel free to share!