The old Native American proverb that states, “We do not inherit the land from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children” really makes me think about my lifestyle and how it is benefiting the Earth. Being sustainable not only means to take care of the planet for my generation but also for future generations. It is my job to care for the planet as best as I can and to help pass on these good habits to my children. The best ways that I can help my environment are composting uneaten food and old vegetables, donating or reusing old clothes, and recycling plastic and paper products.
My family already has a composting pile in the yard and I never really noticed its value. I always thought of it as a pile of trash and would be reluctant to recycle leftovers when my parents told me to. It would have been so much easier to just throw everything away in the trashcan. In “Waste Not Want Not” Bill McKibben states that, “we toss 14 percent of the food we buy at the store” (304). That is a lot of food that can be put to better use instead of being wasted. Old food scraps will eventually turn into rich soil that can be used to grow an organic garden. The produce that I buy in the grocery store is not as healthy as I think it is because most of it is filled with chemicals that can be harmful to humans. There is a “displacement of nearly the entire farming population and the replacement of their labor and good farming practices by machines and toxic chemicals” (Berry 401). Using compost to plant my own food I do not have to live in fear about what I am feeding to my family. Composting is not only a good source to keep food out of landfills but it promotes a healthy and natural lifestyle.
Another way that I like to help the environment is by reusing old clothes either by giving them to someone in need or repurposing them to make something new. I would rather donate my clothes to a thrift shop or give them as hand-me-downs because I know that my clothes are available to someone who really needs them. I will also make a toy for my dog if a piece of clothing is really worn out because it is quick and easy to do. Even though I am just one person I am helping to limit the amount of clothing items in landfills. When I get rid of old clothes it gives me the opportunity to gain room for new ones. Not only do I shop at my local mall but I also buy items from thrift stores. I have no problem with shopping at Goodwill because sometimes I will find some pretty nice things, and I have even found good brands for half the price they would normally be.
I only started shopping at thrift stores about a year ago while I was on my gap year. I was very low on cash but I needed new clothes because I was preparing to travel abroad. The country I traveled to has conservative values and the weather can be very humid, therefore I needed long but also lightweight skirts. I was...