Detritus from modern life seems to line every walkway and roadside that I travel down, it has seeped into the countryside too, the filthy, mangled remains flapping in the breeze, stuck in hedgerows and trees.  It is in our seas and rivers too, a semi-see through slithering mass slipping by on the current.

However you describe it, its there, and its ugly.  It is rubbish, mostly from fast food of some description or other, cans, crisp packets, burger wrappers, straws, cups…and its everywhere, you don’t even need to look hard to find it.

How does it get there?  Some of it is dropped, whether accidental or on purpose, some of it is left behind, some of it has just not made it to the bin or fallen out again, however it got there isn’t the problem, the problem is that it is there, and while we consume these items, places will still continue to manufacture these packaging goods, and while these goods are still being manufactured they are still going to end up on the streets and in fields, causing problems for the environment and the animals that live in them.

How we can make a difference.  I believe that in order to make a difference we need to be more mindful of our consumption of these goods.  If we really put our mind to it, and ask questions about what we are buying, like “do I need a straw?”, “Is there a better way to package this?”, then we are on the right path.  Can we, for instance, do without the straw in our drink, purchase (and use more than once) a re-usable cup/travel mug for coffee, have our takeaway sandwich/burger/meal placed in reusable containers, can we carry our own cutlery instead of using throw away knives and forks?  If we start thinking, and doing this then we are on our way to reducing the amount of rubbish in our environment.

You can buy re-usable mugs in many places now, Starbucks and Costa both carry their own lines but you can purchase re-usable cups and flasks in most supermarkets ad other stores now.

If you really like using a straw, why not purchase a stainless steel one?  I really like the range on eco-straws (UK based) .  Not only will this reduce waste (and things like this (WARNING -Graphic Video) happening, it will look cool when you use it.

And finally, how about carrying these around with you to whip out when you need them?  The cutlery will come in handy next time you buy something you want to eat straight away but doesn’t come with any eating implements and, again, will slow down the waste ending up where it shouldn’t.

These are only ideas, in an ideal world we would all make our own snacks and sandwiches, pastas and salads and not rely on buying and consuming from shops and food places but if we can make a start in slowing down the production of rubbish then we are on the right tracks.  Even if we keep consuming then looking for ways to re-cycle and reuse (if possible) is a small step in the right direction instead of just dropping or leaving our waste behind once we have finished with it.

It all boils down to being more mindful and thinking about our actions.


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