We operate as if convenience is more important than preservation, conservation, and the safeguarding of our limited resources. Where I come from, convenience is a perfectly accepted excuse for creating garbage – even though garbage is a toxic and costly externality that has to be shared and dealt with by everyone.
You’re too lazy to do the dishes? No big deal, just use plastic alternatives and throw it all out at the end of the night. None of it will decompose for five hundred years, but that’s not your problem.
Going shopping? Don’t waste your time and energy bringing a bag! The store will give you all the bags you need and you can toss them out when you get home.
You spilled water on the floor? Go grab a huge handful of paper towels to mop it up. (But wait – since when is water dirty? Oh well.) Forget the concept of a cloth rag, we wouldn’t want you to deal with the burden of putting it in the laundry. –
When did we buy into the idea that we don’t have to do our dishes? That we can throw out as many plastic bags as we want? That we don’t have to wash towels?
It’s a lie. And we’re all paying for it.
Creating those disposable dishes and bags and paper towels required energy and water and other raw materials and chemicals. All of which are sent straight to the landfill after a useful life measured in less than an hour’s time.
We humans all have to share this one earth, yet we are taught that it’s perfectly acceptable to act as if there is unlimited space for our waste.
This is a very bad habit. But bad habits don’t have to be permanent. We can change. But change requires new ideas that are unproven and don’t yet have market share.
Waste Offsets can finance good ideas that will break the bad habit of disposable everything. Many of these ideas will likely need to be subsidized at first because people will have to catch on and adapt and get used to that new way of doing things.
Waste offsets can finance convenient solutions so that “disposable everything” isn’t the only easy way to go.