I should have paid more attention…

I remember moving into my now home back in September. This was the first time I had rented something out with garbage pick up, and to my surprise, recyclable pick up as well. Every Thursday we would push out those garbage bins to the front of the yard and off they go. Well, I should say bin, as in, just the garbage ONLY bin.

I remember my boyfriend telling me we needed to get a house bin to put all the recyclable things in to separate from the trash so we can start putting out both bins by the end of each week. I remember thinking to myself numerous things like, “why?”, “what is the point- what difference will it make?”, “that sounds like a whole lot to learn and I am too busy already”. Those were really my three general questions. Why, and what difference would it make, could not explain my indifference to the situation any better. What difference could just two people in a home make, I immediately thought- the whole dang world isn’t recycling, a few things from this home isn’t going to matter. And oh, am I busy. I have a 6 year first grader who has homework that lasts me longer to help her with than cleaning my own bathroom, a very needy Italian Mastiff that literally weighs as much as me (this is child number 2), two jobs, and school… And I am expected to learn what can be recycled and can’t? Um, no.

That is until I read this article. http://go.shr.lc/2ePok7V

German retailer Aldi has announced that as of January 1st they will be removing 8 pesticides from all products on its U.S. stores shelves.

The food chain is making a name for itself as a health-focused supermarket in recent times.

With low prices AND a focus on health, Aldi is gaining a reputation as the food conscious shoppers go-to store.

Little did I know I was already on my way to making huge strides to a person like me, who knows nothing and had little interest in sustainability. I had already promised myself this new year to start eating better, and by eating better I did not mean diet. Fortunate enough for me, I grew up with my mother who was a nutrionist. I feel confident in how my eating habits are. However, after moving into this new home in Ladson-Summerville area, I find an article of a small grocery store down my street by the name of Aldi. Also is a German small grocery chain store that is now providing fully organic, no pesticide groceries and beating all health good stores around the country. What is even better than the store being completely organic? How cheap it is!

This was on my priority list coming into the new year which has been beyond beneficial for me. It has brought in so much insight to so much more than I could have ever imagined. Now, back to the recycling part… I cannot think of ONE item I have bought at Aldi so far this year, that is not recyclable. BINGO! Now, I am recycling. Why not? Everything I have bought in groceries so far has been organic, better for my body and my nutrition, I have not wasted plastic bags (because Aldi does not use them =) ), I have been 100% contributing to my environment and my body when it comes to groceries so WHY STOP at simply throwing away all the recyclable packaging in the regular trash bin.

I actually find it hilarious because my boyfriend lasted a week talking about recycling after seeing my disinterest and now that I can really tell the difference I alone am making, we are making, in my household, it’s me constantly over his shoulder saying, “hey, that can go in the recycling bin”, “don’t forget to take both bins out and not just the trash!”, “I emptied out the ground coffee into a mason jar- stick that coffee container in the bin please”.

I sincerely, do not think I would have ever been able to learn as much about recycling and the importance of natural foods alone without having made this change and the change of recycling items slapping me the in face before I threw it in the regular trash bin. I am excited to have put myself in the position to learn more, not only through this beginning change at home but picking up en environmental class and diving deeper. I remember Prof. Saunders saying something that has haunted me since on Day 1 of class. We stopped at a picture on a life of planet Earth and she said, “Let’s just stop here and look at this for a sec., you guys, this is all we have. Once this is all used up, that is it, we have nothing else.” It hit me then, that not only should I be proud of the small differences I am making, they will spread. I have a little one at home who’s already looking for all the recycling label/stamps on all of our items so she can police and make sure they go where it belongs. And that’s where it should start.

3 thoughts on “I should have paid more attention…

  1. It is really interesting that your interest in recycling was at least partly the result of shopping at Aldi. I have read a little bit about the chain and it is very exciting how their business model places emphasis on organic food and low prices…at the same time! I think your experience also suggests the power of cooperation or maybe sustainable thinking being passed from businesses to consumers.

  2. I never knew Aldi was like this! That’s awesome that you can make huge lifestyle changes while still enjoying the things you did before. I feel as this is a huge set back when most people are contemplating making these changes, and you choosing to do so will inspire people to do the same.

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