Welcome to Everyday Ways. Through this blog I hope to share the numerous small things that all of us can do everyday to help make this world a better place. We all know that in many ways this world is broken. If we dwell on what’s wrong, it’s tempting to become discouraged or overwhelmed. I find it infinitely better to focus on the opportunities to help which crop up everywhere. It’s not hard, it’s easy, and helping makes you feel so good!
We are fast approaching the time of year when our mailboxes burst at the seams with catalogs showcasing everything your heart could desire. I used to get over 100 catalogs! Fun, huh? And then I read an article by catalogchoice. The plethora of junk mail was having a disastrous effect on the environment.
- Over 100 million trees are cut down every year to produce junk mail and catalogs.
- The pulp and paper industry is the 4th largest user of energy.
- 72 million tons of junk mail ends up in landfills each year. When this material rots, it emits methane, a greenhouse gas more powerful than carbon dioxide.
- 5-10 times more emissions are created by catalog production and distribution than what would ostensibly be saved by catalog shopping.
While recycling is a better option than throwing it away; however, only 40% of junk mail and catalogs are recycled. Online shopping is one viable alternative. If you are uneasy about entering your payment information into the website, you could either call the company’s telephone number for ordering or print out the order form.
We are fast approaching another season, too. With the cold weather coming, many people will have to choose between heating or eating. In this month’s issue of “Mother Earth Living” (www.motherearthliving.com), Feeding America is chosen as this month’s charity. According to their figures, 46.5 million people face hunger in the U.S., including 12 million children and 7 million seniors. Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest) has worked to help secure food for the needy. Feeding America’s network of food banks secures donated food from farmers, manufacturers, retailers and government organizations. They work with food distributers to maximize all donations. They not only provide for the needy, they keep food from going to waste. Through Feeding America $1 provides 11 meals for those who need it. If you look closely, you will see food insecurity all around you. Many people are too ashamed to admit their need. I remember when we lived in our former house. We didn’t know that the people across the street struggled with hunger until after they moved out. We didn’t really know them and they didn’t live there very long, but it haunts me that my neighbors had to do without. Check out their website at feedingamerica.org.
If you have any thoughts or ideas about hunger or reducing paper waste, please don’t hesitate to share them. Any and all contributions are welcome.
There are genuinely sufficient resources in the world to ensure that no one, nowhere, at any time, should go hungry.