On the first Earth Day I “celebrated” with my kids a friend, her 5-year old son, my 5-year old son, 1-year old daughter in a stroller and I went into a little tiny strip of wilderness area that stretched along side a street we used to frequently walk along, and we picked up the trash. I can’t recall how many bags full of garbage we collected, but we were astonished at how much there had been in such a small space, and the kids were really proud that the work they did would help keep the little forest they knew so well healthier and more beautiful. Unfortunately, the following year, the little forest was full of litter and trash again, which I found so discouraging I didn’t have the heart to show my little son how fruitless his previous year’s noble efforts had been, and I hit the wall of disillusionment in the Earth-day clean-up activity arena, so instead, I think we planted a tree that year for Earth Day.
Littering is a huge pet-peeve of mine. I wish it was for more people out there. Not only is it an immense eye-sore, but litter presents personal health and world wide environmental pollution hazards, and even though I hadn’t even considered this 20 years ago, now I know that it filters through our whole economy, creating a tremendous impact on national budgets, taxes, fees, and real estate values… all of which are paid for by YOU… it all ends up coming right out of YOUR wallet.
Bag Monster Blog, a site devoted to eliminating plastic bag use, quotes Heal The Bay, an environmental group dedicated to cleaning and sustaining the Santa Monica Bay in Southern California, who sites the following statistics: The total cost of litter collection, disposal and enforcement in the U.S. is estimated to be at least $11.5 BILLION annually. Businesses bear the burden of this cost, spending $9.1 BILLION annually and representing 79.5% of the total cost of litter abatement. Just consider for a second the lower prices we might be appreciating if business didn’t have to foot such an enormous bill, and what amazing, wonderful, and productive things might be accomplished with that money!
Placing trash in trash bins instead of littering will reduce these costs, but recycling further reduces expenditures, and is even more ecologically sound — and re-using and re-purposing promotes all around further savings. Check the fascinating recycling facts posted on A Recycling Revolution.
While my experience with cleaning up that little neighborhood woodlands was a bit discouraging, it did not hamper my caring about the the fragility of our planet, and along with cost-consciousness, an eco-consciousness has found its way into just about everything I do. I still have a long way to go, and it may feel daunting at times but , unlike 20 years ago, now it is easy to find resources, like EarthDay.org, and Keep America Beautiful, that are devoted to making it easier for us keep the world healthier, cleaner, safer, and more beautiful, while keeping our our wallets happier too!
Catch these Money-Saving and Earth-Friendly Related Videos:
Being Frugal: The Original sustainability? – Author of The New Frugality: How to Consume Less, Save More, and Live Better, Chris Farrell
Cleaners, Make Your Own – Kimberly Danger, founder of Mommysavers
Clothes Swap – Melissa Massello of Shoestring Magazine & Amy Chase of Punkystyle Blog
Energy Efficiency Tips - Host of “House Smarts” TV show, Lou Manfredini
Freecycling: Household Items for Free - coordinator for Freecycle New York City, Christina Salvi
Gasoline Money: Inflate Tires & Save - Global energy products and eco blog, Eco 20-20
Grow an Organic Garden: Save Money - Research editor of Organic Gardening Magazine, Pam Ruch
House Cost Saving Tips, Eco-Friendly - Interior designer, Libby Langdon
Household Eco Products Save Money - Josh Dorfman, host of The Lazy Environmentalist TV show
Live Richly & Frugal Forever – Founder of the Tightwad Gazette, and Frugal For Life blog, Amy Dacyzyn
Refrigerator & Freezer Eco & Savings Tips – Home enviornmentalist expert, Danny Seo
Shop Organic Money Saving Tips - Author of Georgously Green and TV host, Sophie Uliano
Uncle Sam Sells Cheap, All About Gov’t. Auctions - Stacey Johnson host of Money Talks News
World Travel for Free While Helping to Grow the Organic Movement - World Wide Opportunities in Organic Farms, WWOOF
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