For the Love of the Planet

Trash has been on my mind for as long as I can remember.  In the early days of the Seed when we had ten kids in the school, we took everyone to the landfill to see what happens to all the trash.  We saw piles of discarded items, including large appliances like washers and refrigerators.  It was depressing and made a big impact on our little group of Seeds and their teachers.  A few years ago, I had the opportunity to join the kindergarteners on a field trip to the City of Phoenix recycling center.  It was hopeful to know that much of the mountain of trash would actually be reused and made into something else.  But it was still a lot of trash.

Over the years, different food items have been developed to appeal to children’s unique tastebuds and at the same time arrive in packaging that captures their attention.  Additionally, increasingly demanding lifestyles of busy parents makes the element of convenience a more significant factor.  Throw in the publicity for including more fruits and vegetables in children’s diets, especially organic foods, and you have a perfect product in the GoGo Squeez pouches.  Except for one thing…the addition of more plastic to our landfills and oceans.

When I started seeing the GoGo Squeez pouches, my first thought was the trash.  In years past, I might have let it go, but I’m finding as I move further into my 60s, I am choosing to speak up.  When I talk to my grandchildren about recycling, reusing materials, and reducing trash, I tell them that I follow these three practices for their future.  I say that they will be around on this planet a lot longer than I will and I want them to have a healthy, beautiful place to live.  Every time I go in a store I take my reusable bags with me.  If I forget the bags, I either go back to the car to get them or go without a bag.  Whenever I’m in a situation where I can do without using something I know will end up in the landfill, I choose the option that will reduce trash.  I’m finding that these decisions seem increasingly significant.  I have a growing sense of how decisions like these have a far reaching impact.  I don’t think we can afford to be casual about such matters for much longer.

I’ve always considered myself to be a non-political person.  I don’t like getting into debates with others about what they should or shouldn’t believe, or how they should live their lives.  I go for the universals in life that apply to everyone.  Decisions about products we buy do have an impact on our lives, our children’s lives, and all future generations.  I’m not telling or asking anyone to stop buying products like GoGo Squeez.  I’m merely asking you to reflect on your choices and perhaps reduce the number of such purchases.  And if you do decide to use these convenient food pouches, please recycle them in our handy box in the office so we can send them in to the company that makes them into playground equipment and other useful items.  Help the planet, help the Seed.

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