I love this huge planet of our and I’ve been lucky enough to visit many different countries, experiencing a wealth of culture and history. Nowadays life is full of convenience. We can jump on a plane and go anywhere we want, we can talk to others on the opposite side of the world at the touch of a button via laptop or phone, and we can get virtually anything we want to eat or drink thanks to generous trade deals struck by our governments.
The downside to all os this is the ‘I’ mentality. The type of mentality that means despite all the good points, many have forgotten how to look after other people and the world around us. Recently I’ve witnessed the awful issues affecting a Greek Ionian island. For the last five months the island has been struggling to cope since their landfill site was shut down before Christmas. Since then rubbish has been piled up on the streets, bins, if you can find them, are overflowing and the smell and disruption caused by the amount of rubbish left in the streets to rot is getting worse by the day. The island is currently in the process of getting the issue resolved, but as with everything nowadays the situation is being vocally discussed across social media. Whilst I agree that authorities in situations like this must do more to take responsibility, we must also ALL take responsibility for our OWN actions.
Each time we order something online, go to the supermarket, or go shopping WE make a decision with what we buy. Therefore shouldn’t it be down to us as how the packaging from those purchases is disposed of? Of course it is! So why do people still choose to bury their heads in the sand, and say “why should I recycle, it’s not my problem?” It’s an attitude that’s wrong and self-centred. Rubbish disposal is everyone’s problem, we’re all responsible for how we dispose of our rubbish, old white goods and furniture. Plastic is everywhere, it’s in our landfills and will take hundreds of years to break down, it’s in our rivers, lakes and the sea, and ultimately ends up being eating by marine life, coming back full circle ending up on our plates. Some choose to burn rubbish, but this can also be detrimental as some rubbish such as rubber and plastic releases dangerous toxins into the air, that in due course, makes people ill.
So what is the answer to problems like this? Well it’s very simple. We all need to take responsibility, we need be mindful when buying products. We need to stop buying items with excess packaging. When disposing of rubbish, we must all dispose of it responsibly, by either recycling or reusing, ensuring that what little goes to landfill is just that; a little. A majority of the rubbish affecting the Greek Ionian island above is recyclable but the attitude of “not my issue” is very much being used, and around 80% of what is currently being discarded could actually be recycled or re-used. We must all challenge retailers and try to encourage or even force them into using less plastic, we must all challenge each other, but most of all, we must ALL take responsibility for our own actions.
This planet is not owned by us, we merely rent our time here, therefore it’s up to us to ensure that it’s passed on to future generations in a fit state. If we can’t do that then life for future generations will be intolerable, and that really doesn’t bear thinking about.